Pickle Martini Recipe

Move over, "Barbie"-themed pink cocktails: pickle martinis are muscling their way into the conversation. This sharp, tangy, and perfectly balanced drink stands out for its use of salinity, that magic quality that makes potato chips and oysters oh-so-addictive. And once you taste one of these lip-puckering babies, you'll forget about any other way to sip a martini.

Though pickles behind the bar are nothing new, as evidenced by the pickleback (a shot of whiskey followed by pickle juice), there seems to be a buzz going around pickle martinis. According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, this drink is just a variation of an extra dirty martini, where the olives are substituted for little gherkins and high-quality pickle juice is used as a core ingredient in the cocktail.

You can use extra spicy pickle brine to make your drink piquant, go the homemade pickle route, or stick to your favorite small-batch garlic dill pickles. Whatever you do, take care to choose the most superior pickles you can find for this simple drink. You're going to love its balance of sourness and acidity!

Gather the Ingredients for a classic pickle martini

This sophisticated cocktail requires just a few ingredients to create a perfectly balanced and flavorful drink. You'll need very good, sharp dill pickle juice, vodka, white vermouth, a gherkin, and pickled pearl onions for garnish. These high-quality ingredients come together to create a smooth and tangy cocktail that's sure to impress. When selecting your vermouth, make sure it's dry or extra dry to avoid adding unnecessary sweetness. The pickle brine shouldn't just be of any store-bought gherkins; instead, grab for an artisanal pickle with a sharp or even spicy brine.

Mix the cocktail

To make a delicious pickle martini, it's important to mix the ingredients properly. Fill a shaker with ice and add the dill pickle juice, vodka, and white vermouth. The ice will help to chill the ingredients and dilute the drink slightly (but not too much so it loses its sharpness), which will help to balance the flavors.

Shake the ingredients well to combine them and create a smooth and refreshing cocktail. The shaking process also helps to aerate the drink, creating a softer and more rounded flavor profile.

Garnish the cocktail

A well-crafted garnish can take a cocktail to the next level, and the pickle martini is no exception. On a cocktail spear, arrange one pickled onion, and one gherkin, followed by another pickled onion. The combination of the tangy pickled onions and the crisp gherkin provides a perfect complement to the flavors of the cocktail.

Place the spear on the rim of the martini glass to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the drink. Alternatively, you could also garnish the cocktail with a slice of cucumber or a sprig of fresh dill for a different twist.

Serve the extra-dirty pickle martini

Now that you've mixed your cocktail and garnished it like a beauty queen contestant, it's time to sit back and enjoy your delicious and refreshing pickle martini. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass to keep it cold and refreshing. The flavors of the dill pickle juice, vodka, and vermouth will combine to create a perfectly balanced and flavorful drink. Serve immediately and savor every sip of your extra dirty cocktail.

This pickle martini would be at home at any dinner party, but we love serving it for a sophisticated game night. It goes well with charcuterie or a cheese board with a selection of strong, sharp cheddars and smoked cheeses. If you're looking for other pickle-forward dishes to accompany it, we recommend a pickle juice-brined fried chicken sandwich, fried pickle spears, and creamy dill pickle hummus. It's going to be a pickle extravaganza!

Pickle Martini Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
Pickle martinis are a variation of an extra dirty martini, with olives substituted for gherkins and high-quality pickle juice used as a core ingredient.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pickle martini with garnishes in background
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 1 ounce dill pickle juice
  • 2½ ounce vodka
  • ½ oz extra dry white vermouth
  • 2 pickled pearl onions
  • 1 gherkin
  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add dill pickle juice, vodka, and vermouth.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  5. On a cocktail spear, arrange 1 pickled onion, 1 gherkin, and another pickled onion.
  6. Place the spear on the rim of the martini glass.
  7. Serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 199
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 2.5 g
Sodium 1,128.7 mg
Protein 0.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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