All olives are not created equal when it comes to martinis. A few guidelines:
- The olive doesn’t flavor the liquor so much as the liquor flavors the olive. If you want olive flavor in the drink, make it dirty by adding olive brine or use cracked olives.
- Use milder olives in gin martinis so they don’t clash with gin’s herbal edge; use spicier olives in vodka martinis. The most compatible flavored vodkas for good olives are pepper and lemon vodkas.
- Stuff your own olives with goat cheese or capers.
- You can mix and match olives in a single drink, what some call a gin salad. But remember that cocktails, especially classic martinis, are works of classic eye appeal, not an everything-on-it pizza.
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