The Easy Trick To Help Eliminate Watered-Down Dirty Martinis

A shot of vodka or gin (we aren't purists), a dash of dry vermouth, and the pungent tang of olive brine. The quintessential dirty martini. But whether you prefer yours shaken or stirred, one problem can occur — the cocktail gets watered down after being exposed to ice. And with a cocktail that is so purely spirit-forward at such a short pour, it's important that the ingredients aren't compromised with melted ice. 

For an easy fix, we looked at one of our favorite ways to enjoy a chilled glass of wine from a room-temperature bottle without pouring it over ice — tossing some frozen grapes keeps the wine chilled but undiluted. Similarly, to prevent watered-down martinis, add some frozen cubes of olive brine. That way, even with melting over time, the cocktail gets an extra boost of salt and acidity that makes for delicious sipping. Along with briny ice cubes, there are some extra measures you can take to get a perfectly frosty martini every time. 

How to keep your chill

The key to any great cocktail is to start with the base. In this case, we don't mean the ingredients but the glassware. First, if you don't have a classic martini glass, definitely choose one with a stem. That way, your hands aren't in contact with the basin where your drink is, which means your body heat won't impact the temperature. For good measure, chill the glass in your freezer for at least 30 minutes so you aren't adding the briny cubes to a warm glass, which would make them melt faster. 

Finally, the most pertinent question when making any martini is whether you prefer it shaken or stirred. Though 007 likes his shaken, mixology experts, like those at Grey Goose, recommend stirring. While shaking is faster, it also tends to break up the ice cubes into smaller fragments, which quickly melt and dilute the cocktail, adding as much as 10% more water to the drink. Stirring, on the other hand, requires gentle motions that make the ice less likely to break up. Some even believe that stirring leads to smoother, more velvety martinis. For minimal water dilution, stir with your olive brine cubes in a tall tumbler, then pour over fresh cubes in your martini glass.