Friday Cocktails: The Classic Dirty Martini

dirty martini

There are some things in this life that just make me so happy. An expertly made dirty martini is one of them.

For those who don’t know, a dirty martini is one in which olive brine has been added. It gives it a salty flavor that can’t be beat. My husband hates olives. which I find so hard to understand. He likes capers, so I feel like eventually, like maybe when he’s 50, he might suddenly realize he actually likes olives too? This is psychological thing that probably isn’t worth pursuing.

Some people shake their martinis, some stir them. Some (like me) order them “extra dirty” which means lots of olive brine. You can make them with gin or vodka (I prefer Tito’s vodka). At any rate, I don’t think I’ve met a dirty martini I didn’t like. They are very simple to make, but quite elegant. If you want to knock the socks off of someone, make them a martini. They will marvel at your sophistication.

Another thing about a simple martini is that it’s free of added sugars. A lot of cocktails have simple syrup or liqueurs which are so tasty and I love them, but they have lots of sugar. If you are trying to cut back on your sugar consumption (which, frankly, is a good idea for just about everyone), then a martini is a really good bet. If you hate olives, you can also just order a vodka or gin martini “with a twist” which means it comes with a twist of lemon rather than olives. You can also order them with onions! It’s like a snack in a glass.

Here’s your basic recipe. It’s already perfection so I don’t recommend messing with it.



  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces vodka (I like Tito’s) or gin (I like Prairie Organic)
  • 2 teaspoons olive brine (4 to 5 teaspoons for extra dirty)
  • Splash of dry vermouth
  • Green olives (you can use blue cheese olives if you’d like)


Add vermouth to cocktail shaker first. Swirl to coat the inside. Fill the shaker with ice. Add vodka and olive brine; shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lots of olives. ENJOY!

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Friday Cocktails! The Hot-As-Heck Margarita




Cocktails! The Sidecar.

Sidecar in a Martini Glass garnished with lemon wedge

The Sidecar.  It’s one of my go-to cold weather drinks.  It’s what I order when I want something sweet rather than savory (like another one of my favorites — the dirty martini). There are different variations of this cocktail.  Some use cognac, others brandy.  Sometimes it’s made with triple sec and sometimes cointreau.  Where I usually order it, they use brandy and triple sec.

The Ritz Hotel in Paris claims they created the drink in the early 1900’s, but a couple of British gentlemen have also claimed to be the inventor.  Regardless, it is named after the attachment on a motorcycle.  The drink has morphed and changed a lot since then, going through numerous variations.

Fancy people in England and France drank this cocktail over 100 years ago, which makes me feel very cool when I order it even though the bartender probably laughs about me behind my back.

I really like my cocktails served up so that I can sip and savor them without worrying about ice watering down the flavor.  So I love that this is served in a martini glass.

If you want to try this at home, it’s pretty simple!


Freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar if you want to frost the rim
1 cup Cognac or good brandy
1/2 cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Maraschino cherries (I like Tillen Farms all natural) or lemon peel, to garnish


If you want to frost the glasses, swipe the lemon wedge around four martini glasses and then dip in a shallow plate of sugar.

Combine the Cognac, Triple Sec, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into the martini glasses. Garnish with a cherry or lemon peel (or both, if you feel like living on the edge).