A Dirty Little Secret: How to Make Olive Juice for Dirty Martinis

Add more flavor to your dirty martinis with our homemade olive brine.

Updated January 15, 2024
dirty martini ingredients

Skip the sugary cocktails and make yourself a dirty martinithat has classy written all over it. Of course, you can't have a dirty martini without that salty kick of olive juice, also known as olive brine. Whatever the festivities, shake up this chilled and umami martini whenever those savory cravings kick in. 

How to Make Olive Juice for Dirty Martinis 

A dirty martini recipe typically calls for ½ to 1 ounce of olive juice per drink. 


  • 2 cups green olives
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt


  1. Put the olives in the glass jar and press them well with the wooden spoon to release their natural juices.
  2. Mix the water, vinegar, and salt, and pour the mixture over the olives. Be sure the mixture covers the olives, but leave some airspace at the top of the jar.
  3. Seal the container tightly with the lid and shake it vigorously. This action blends the mixture and allows the olives to release a little more flavor.
  4. Refrigerate the jar, and be sure to shake it again before using the juice. The longer the mixture is allowed to sit, the stronger the olive brine becomes.
  5. Repeat this process until you've finished your olives, and you'll never have to waste them again.
Fast Fact

A traditional martini is typically made with gin and dry vermouth, while a dirty martini includes an additional ingredient: olive brine or juice. This gives it a saltier and more savory flavor. 

Related: Tips for Making Every Type of Martini From Bone Dry to Dirty

Tip for Maximizing the Juice in the Jar

If you still prefer the brine you get when you purchase a container of olives, try purchasing your olives from a gourmet food store where you can scoop them into a container yourself. Add extra olive brine so that you can use some to make martinis, yet still have enough left over to cover the olives. 

Dirty martini connoisseurs may argue that pre-made olive juice is far inferior to fresh olive juice, but there is something to be said for convenience. You can buy it from the following manufacturers:

  • Dirty Sue - This brine is made using olives from the Seville region of Spain, and it's filtered twice before bottling. The product sells for about $13 for a 375 ml bottle, and there is a minimum purchase of two bottles when you buy directly from the Dirty Sue website.
  • Boscoli - Made from green olives, Boscoli sells for less than $20 for a 12.7-ounce bottle. It rates rather well with customers, although some find it a bit too salty for their tastes.

Never Run Out of Olive Juice

Whether you purchase olive juice or make your own, this is one ingredient every home bartender should have on hand. Keep your bar stocked with this mixer, and you can enjoy a dirty martini any time you like. What's a dirty martini, you say? It's time to find out!

A Dirty Little Secret: How to Make Olive Juice for Dirty Martinis