Homemade Olive Brine: Step-By-Step Guide For This Martini Mixer
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The key to making a ‘dirty’ martini for your next cocktail party is having a good batch of olive brine handy. The centuries-old food preservation technique, originating from the Mediterranean – considered to be the hotspot for olive production in the world – invented the method to preserve olives for cocktails. In addition to this, even Spanish Manzanilla and Sicilian Castelvetrano olive varieties were preserved in a solution of vinegar, salt and water for future use, until the incredible flavours of the brine itself were discovered. Legend has it, that the addition of olive brines in cocktails like martinis gained immense popularity in the United States during the cocktail renaissance of the early 20th century.

In order to make good quality, homemade brine, choosing the best quality of olives is absolutely necessary. You will also need good quality white vinegar or white wine vinegar, salt and water in the right proportion to create a balanced saltiness. Amplify the flavour of your solution with ingredients like garlic, peppercorns, fresh thyme or rosemary.

Prep Your Olives 

The naturally briny and salty olives need to be washed thoroughly and repeatedly with cold water to help regulate the saltiness of the final brine, making it perfectly balanced instead of possessing an overpowering salinity.

Sterilised Jars

Having sealable glass jars and lids need to be boiled in hot water for 3-4 minutes, and dried out completely on a wire rack.

Also Read:

Olives: A Complete Guide To The Different Types

Make Brine 

In a saucepan, place half litre water, half litre white vinegar and 450g of salt to stir over medium heat. Once the salt dissolves completely, turn off the heat and allow the solution to cool completely. Place the olives in the sterilised jars and add some garlic cloves, rosemary sprigs and peppercorns. Pour in the brine steadily and submerge the olives completely.

Storage Instructions

Seal the glass jars securely with the lids and store them in a cool, dark place for at least a week. Once the olives have steeped in the brine, use a strainer to separate the olive brine from the olives and other ingredients. Both, the olive brine and the olives can be used to make a crisp and delicious dirty martini.