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This is possible the best Dirty Martini

Folks, I have to admit, that I am not the biggest fan of Dirty Martinis. The usual combination between vodka and olive brine seems odd - and I am often more reminded on dirty dish water, than on a good drink.

Olive brine itself isn't really that bad - even commercial olives just contain water, salt, vinegar or lactic acid. But it depends, how the olives are cured - one industrial process is, curing the olives in lye - which isn't that great (but on the other hand still perfectly save).

The issue is, that "olive brine" doesn't taste that great.

Fast forward, I have discovered an Iranian shop, with a lot of unique products - they are particularly strong in "flower waters" which are hydrosols.

Hydrosols are basically the byproduct, you will get, if you are steam-distilling produce to get essential oils - there will be only very little essential oil - but quite a lot of water, on which the essential oil "floats". This water has strong aromas on itself. The most common hydrosols are rose water and orange blossom water.

In this shop, I found olive-leaf water. I had to take it home - and when I tasted it, I was quite impressed. The liquid has a faint resemblance to olives, but is far more herbal and complex and basically not at all fruity (as olives can be).

When I tried this in a Martini cocktail, I found, that there was something essential missing: salt. Olive brine quite contains a lot of salt, and a sprinkle, just provided the right characteristic for a "Dirty".

I found though, that gin was quite dominant - you could taste the herbaceous "tang" of the olive-leaf water, but it was a bit to subdued - on the other hand, vodka also doesn't give the drink justice: Hence I decided for 1 part of gin on three parts of vodka - and a rinse of Noilly Prat, which lend only a hint of fruity sweetness.

There is only one problem: the Dirty Martini doesn't look dirty anymore - but there are worse problems in this world.

The Best Dirty Martini30 ml Vodka (any "clean" modern/neutral quality vodka will do)
10 ml Plymouth Navy Strength
10 ml Olive-leaf hydrosol
10 ml Noilly Prat (in & out) 
Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Add Noilly Prat and strain it directly into the chilled cocktail glass. Add the vodka, gin & olive-leaf hydrosol over the scented ice and stir for at least 20 seconds.Discard ice and Noilly Prat from the cocktail glass. Strain the cocktail into the cocktail glass. Garnish with 2 green unpitted olives (Castelvetrano or Gordal). Optional mist some Noilly Prat and olive leaf hydrosol over the cocktail.


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