Dirty Martini Pasta Is The All-In-One Food And Drink Pairing You Need To Try

Finding the right drink with dinner is easy when dinner is a riff on the drink. Savory and salty, the olive-juice-laced dirty martini is a cocktail classic on a comeback tour. And according to some trending TikTokers, the same briny olives and spirits used in the drink can provide the base flavors for a dirty martini pasta sauce that pairs perfectly with your cocktail. Put the water on for cooking your pasta, slide your martini glasses into the freezer to chill, and get ready for dinner with drinks!

Brine from jarred olives is the unexpected star of umami-packed dirty martini pasta. Just as it does in the cocktail, olive juice adds flavor and salinity to the pasta sauce. Our martini spirit of choice here is gin because the botanical, herb-forward flavors of gin add complexity to both pasta and cocktail. Start by sautéing garlic, chopped olives, and lemon zest in olive oil. Then add yours stars: the gin first, followed by the olive brine and some butter. For a larger quantity of sauce without going too heavy with the alcohol, use some of the starchy pasta water to thicken it. Hints of lemon zest and garlic brighten the sauce and balance the salty olives which are swirled throughout perfectly cooked pasta and garnished with blue cheese.

Perfectly paired pasta and drinks

What makes this pasta and its namesake cocktail such a great pair? Their similarity, yes, but also their contrast. They both start with the intense, salty, and herbaceous flavors of gin and olive brine, but then the pasta dish adds further interest with lemon and garlic, along with the silky mouthfeel of the pasta. By including bites of olives and blue cheese, each forkful contains echos of the dirty martini. Nothing boring here!


dirty martini pasta 🫒🫶🏻🍸 recipe below: **measurements are approx. measure with ur heart!** * 1 clove garlic, minced * 1-2 tbsp olive oil * 5-7 pitted Castelvetrano olives, smashed and chopped lightly * pasta of choice * lemon zest * 1-2 tbsp olive brine * 2 tbsp Gin or Vodka * 1 tbsp butter * salt, pepper * Fresh parsley * crumbled blue cheese (optional) instructions: – add olive oil to a pot over med heat. add garlic and stir. – add lemon zest and olive and sauté until fragrant and garlic is lightly toasted – add gin to hot pot and stir until it is almost evaporated. – add olive brine. – Add butter and stir continuously to emulsify butter until fully melted. – add cooked pasta and combine. season with salt and pepper to taste – serve hot and garnish with olives, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and blue cheese crumbles.

♬ This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole

Because of their similar intensity, the spirit-forward cocktail does not diminish the flavor of the pasta and vice versa. Cocktails are often paired with highly flavored, salty bar snacks, and this pasta with olives, lemons, and garlic hits all those high flavor notes. The higher alcohol content of the martini is sometimes blamed for dulling the palate, but here it helps maintain the richness of olives and the sharpness of the blue cheese. It's hard to imagine a better cocktail and pasta pairing.