Cornichons Belong In Your Martini

Martini lovers tend to be rather particular, with their dedicated order ready to roll off their tongues once prompted. The preparations are plentiful; dry with a twist, extra dirty with two olives, dirty with no vermouth on the rocks, and the list goes on. Preferences aside, there's a certain martini camaraderie as they share an affinity for strong drinks that aren't afraid to be bitter and daring.

For those that believe the brinier the better, fun variations on the classic cocktail have likely caught their eye. Vodka and gin clearly pair nicely with a salty bite as mixologists have experimented with everything from mignonette to blue cheese (via The Local Palate). Underrated, though, is one addition that makes a martini sing: cornichons. There are a variety of ways to incorporate the small, French pickle's saltiness into a cocktail. Whether it's an infusion or blended in the cocktail shaker, it's time to introduce cornichons to your martini.

Teleport to France with a sharp, salty cornichon martini

Cornichons might be pickles' mini-me, but they have a personality and history all of their own. Often referred to as "French gherkins" (via MasterClass), the micro pickle offers the perfect crunchy bite. Featuring herbs such as dill and tarragon, the tiny pickles deliver a distinctive taste that's tough to replicate. Compared to standard pickles, cornichons are typically more acidic with a sharp, mustard-forward brine which is an ideal pairing for gin or vodka.

This isn't the first time pickle juice has made its way to the bar. Pickle juice has been notorious for masking the flavor of alcohol ever since Pickle Backs started trending, but a cornichon martini celebrates and accentuates all flavor profiles. Our Dirty Pickletini ditches the olives and explores tangy dill flavors with an ounce of pickle juice. Specifically opting for cornichons will give the martini an extra zesty tartness. Not to mention a cornichon makes for the perfect garnish, almost as if they were made for a cocktail.

With its French roots, it's only fitting that Citadelle produced a cornichon gin of its own; Vive le Cornichon. As part of their experimental limited-run collection dubbed "Les Excentriques," they released this infused gin to honor cornichons, otherwise known as the "true symbol of France." With notes of vinegar and alliums, the gin is dynamic and can be mixed in countless ways. Their cornichon gin may not have been designed with a perfect martini in mind, but it can most certainly deliver.