If Your Jarred Olives Run Out Of Brine, Here's How To Replenish It

Depleting olive brine is something that you've probably dealt with if you're a fan of an extra filthy dirty martini. Given that most jars are packed with a higher volume of olives than brine, it's easy to understand why that tangy liquid seems to disappear so quickly. While the absence of brine might prompt another trip to the market, there's an ingenious way of refilling the juice that requires almost no effort, but will still deliver deliciously salty, intensely umami results. A hack that you'll be using for years to come, replenishing olive brine yourself is a no-brainer.

It might go without saying but olive brine does serve a purpose beyond drinkable (and edible) applications. Since freshly picked drupes contain an incredibly bitter chemical compound called oleuropein, they must first be cured through processes such as salting or brining. While methods like a classic salt-water brine can transform olives into a tasty snack, the mouth-puckering liquid also serves another function. When totally submerged in brine, olives also face a lesser risk of spoilage.

Naturally, to avoid prematurely tossing olives or even buying a new jar just for the brine, it's a smart idea to refill the liquid. Far from complicated, concocting a makeshift brine is actually way more straightforward than you might have thought.

The solution is simply saltwater

Bartenders are no strangers to dealing with depleted brine. Despite the fact that Punch reports that some mixologists have combated the problem by blending olive pits with water or adding a splash of lactic acid to a saltwater mixture, the main elements of brine remain just that — salt and water.

Regardless of whether you go through a lot of brine or somehow accidentally drain the liquid, replenishing that zesty liquid is simple. All you need to do is combine a spoonful of salt with water, stirring until well dissolved, before pouring the liquid overtop of the remaining olives. Depending on how potent you'd like the juice to be, you can add any amount from 1/2 teaspoon to three teaspoons of salt to about one cup of water.

A great way to extend the shelf life of your olives for a few extra weeks, this saltwater solution is a great hack when you're in a pinch. Plus, once you've managed to eat all your re-brined olives, you can use the leftover liquid to add acidity and umami to soups, sauces, marinades, and salad dressings. Replenishing olive brine is like a gift that keeps on giving!