How to Make Olive Brine for Dirty Martinis

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Over Father’s Day Weekend, I had the opportunity to share some of my kitchen magic that I’ve developed over the years with my good friend, SB. We had been discussing the Dirty Martini for a couple of months, and I have come up with a way to extend the olive brine to last as long as the olives do.

I know, you are saying to yourself “What does this have to do with preparedness, homesteading, or homeschooling?”

Preparedness -In my house, drink fixin’s are a stockpiled item. Since after a hurricane (our most likely natural disaster), alcohol sales are stopped, and with nothing to do, alcohol does wonders to pass the time, as well as makes a fantastic trade item.

Homesteading – We make it ourselves, or at least take what we have and use methods available from items kept in the home. Call this the DIY angle.

Homeschooling – Chemistry? Home Economics? Life Lessons? Yeah, its a stretch, so let’s say that it has nothing to do with homeschooling, OK?

But then 2 out of 3 ain’t bad! If nothing else, this is a very workable frugal method.

The problem.

Making a Dirty Martini from my wife’s favorite recipe is:

  • 2 parts ice cold vodka
  • 1-2 parts olive brine from the jar, mostly depending on the smoothness of the vodka.

    Enough olives for dozens of martinis, but only enough brine for 3-4. How do we solve this?
    Enough olives for dozens of martinis, but only enough brine for 3-4. How do we solve this?
  • Garnish with three olives.
  • An ice cube or two is optional.

This means by the time you’ve used up all of the brine, you have only used up about 9 olives. The brine to olive ratio is all off on the packaging for this recipe.

We needed more olive-flavored brine!

The Solution (get it?)

I started researching options, and found many variations, some convoluted, others as simple as “Top off the jar with spring water”.

And I tried many of them, some worked, other did not. Many were a hassle. What I came up with that seems to work flawlessly is also very simple, and only contains items that any prepper should have on hand already.

In fact, I’d guess that every person reading this already has the base ingredients in their cupboards. They are:

  • Water
  • Salt (non-iodized preferred)
  • Vinegar (White preferred)

The ratio is also rather simple.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar

Mix all three together then stir thoroughly to dissolve all salt. Pour over olives, and refrigerate for at least a day. After a day or two, as you drain off the liquid for Dirty Martinis, simply refill the olive jar with more home made brine. Repeat until the olive jar no longer has olives, then open a new jar and start again.

I did this off the cuff for SB, who was showing me some of his purchased martini brines. One we agreed was fairly good, but the other simply didn’t have any olive flavor to it. When SB tried my concoction, he was so impressed, before adding it to olives, that he made a double batch of brine for later additional testing.

Sure, you can buy pre-made brines for making martinis in lots of places. But why would you  when you can make your own that not only saves you money, but tastes great also?

If you must, here are 35 options for Dirty Martini olive brines from Amazon, let me know if you like any of them.

For me, I’ll make my own…


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  1. Awesome. I actually had no idea what “olice juice” was. And now I will begin practicing making vodka martinis so that I am fully prepared if (when?) we get a hurricane(hurricance season started June 1, no?). Practice makes perfect.

    1. I’m surprised this one isn’t already in your portfolio…I’ve heard some crazy stories coming out of Palm City…

      I’m not much of a drinker, but I like these for their lack of grains and sugars…

  2. I was homeschooled for years, and martini ingredients would have been very relevant. Anything to dull my poor parent’s pain…

    1. Thanks for the hilarious comment… I laughed so loud my wife came in to see what was so funny…then she joined me in the laughter.

      Fantastic :)


  3. I love dirty vodka martinis, too, and had a bottle of store-bought brine but ran out. I had three jars of dry olives in my refrigerator, and the only place locally that I had found some was at Winn Dixie and I don’t have one in my neighborhood any more. I was looking online a few minutes ago to see if any other local stores carried it and came across your site.
    I just mixed up a double batch and tasted it. It was good, so I poured it into the bottles with the olives and will see how well that works. Thanks for the great idea! South Louisiana gets hurricanes, too, as you well know, lol!

  4. Love this!

    For global visitors:

    1 cup ~= 240ml
    1 tblspn ~= 15ml

    Now you can scale the recipe the the size of your olive jar :)

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