How to Make the Dirtiest Martini

A full ounce of olive brine and a pinch of MSG make for the ultimate savory cocktail.
By and

Published May 31, 2022.

Real cocktail pros might throw their coupe glasses at me, but I love a dirty martini. Actually, some might say I love a glass of olive brine with some gin and vermouth in it. It might not be the best way to taste the liquors, but it’s the king of savory cocktails in my book. 

As I’ve refined my version of the cocktail, I’ve discovered that adding a pinch of umami-boosting MSG is the secret to making a dirty martini taste even dirtier. I once used olive brine from a jar of olives that was seasoned with MSG and it blew my mind, so now I always add a sprinkle. I’ve also seen bartenders adding it to regular martinis and plenty of other cocktails.

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It couldn’t be easier to put together. Here’s my method:

How to Make the Dirtiest Martini

1. Add 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of olive brine, ½ an ounce of dry vermouth, and a pinch of MSG to a mixing glass. 

2. Fill the glass with ice and stir until the mixture is thoroughly chilled.

3. Strain into a coupe glass.

4. Garnish with olives.

To learn more about the umami-boosting powers of MSG, watch the latest episode of What’s Eating Dan? below.


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