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TIP OF THE DAY: Martini With A Side Of Olives

Our friend Ron and his daughter Stephanie like to order their Martinis with extra olives. The restaurant generally delivers the side of olives in a shot glass.

Joining them in this tradition inspired today’s two-part tip:

  • Use your liqueur glasses or shot glasses to serve extra olives to your Martini-loving friends.
  • Serve a variety of olives and let guests decide which they prefer with their Martinis.
  •  
    When a pitted, pimento-stuffed olive was first used to garnish a Martini, the olive selection was far less than it is today.

    Today, artisan producers offer more than a dozen stuffed olive options:

  • Cheese:* blue, cheddar, feta, smoked gouda
  • Fish & Meat: anchovy, chorizo, salmon, tuna
  • Fruit & Vegetables: garlic, lemon peel, onion, orange peel, pimiento
  • Heat: habanero, jalapeño
  • Nuts: almonds
  •  

    Martini with a side of olives. Photo courtesy Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

     
    Check out the stuffed olives from Mezzetta, and browse Amazon.com for other stuffed olive options.

    Then, start mixing. The classic Martini proportion is is 1 part London dry gin to .25 part dry vermouth. Shake with ice and strain into a Martini glass. Don’t have Martini glasses? Try a small wine goblet.
     
    *We’ve had some pretty disappointing cheese-stuffed olives: The cubes of cheese have been rubbery and almost tasteless. If you have that experience, look for Divina and Mezzetta brands.

     

    The classic Martini olive is stuffed with
    pimento. Photo by Kyle May | Wikimedia.

     

    THE HISTORY OF THE MARTINI

    While the drink may date back to Gold Rush-era San Francisco, in 1850, a claim is made by the city of Martinez, California, northwest of San Francisco.

    The claim is that the Martinez—the predecessor of the Martini—was created there, by a bartender named Julio Richelieu. The recipe called for gin and sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth, plus bitters and an olive. A recipe for the Martinez was first published in 1867, in “The Bartenders Guide.”

    A 1907 cocktail recipe book, “The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them,” is the first printed reference we have for a Dry Martini Cocktail. Made with gin and dry French vermouth, served with lemon peel and an olive. It credits a bartender 375 miles south of Martinez, in Los Angeles.

    Here’s more on the history of the Martini—including James Bond and the Martini.

     

      





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