Do you like martinis? Do you like olives? If you answered yes to both of those questions, keep scrolling to find out how to make the best accompaniment to your next martini: smoked olives!Jump to Recipe
The History of the Martini
A martini is an infamous cocktail that typically consists of gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a twist of lemon. It is usually served in a chilled martini glass. There are several different versions of the martini, such as the dirty martini (my personal favorite!!) or a vodka martini (made with vodka instead of gin). The classic martini is known for its clean and crisp taste.
James Bond, who famously made the martini the star of the show, always asked for his martinis “shaken not stirred”. So this begs the question, which is the correct method! Keep on reading after the smoked olives section to find out!
Are Martinis an Acquired Taste?
Growing up, tv shows always showed what I called “fancy people” ordering and elegantly sipping on martinis. They always looks so delicious! When I first tried a martini, I was honestly shocked at the taste….not in the best way- haha. Now, after turning 21, fruity drinks and sweet wines were my jam. I didn’t want to taste the spirit at all, so a martini was shocking because that was almost all that I could taste.
I immediately shoved it away from me- saddened that the famous drink I had wanted to try so much was not living up to my expectations. Fast forward a few years and add in a more refined palate for alcoholic beverages, and the dirty martini finally joined my team of favorite cocktails. Add in stuffed, smoked olives, and I am a happy camper!
So, all of this being said, I have learned that martinis are certainly an acquired taste.
The classic martini has a distinctive and strong flavor, primarily from the gin and dry vermouth. The combination of these ingredients can be intense for those who are not accustomed to the taste of spirits. Additionally, the lack of sweeteners in a traditional martini contributes to its dry and somewhat bitter profile. Hence my shock when I first tried a martini….😂.
As people explore different cocktails and develop a palate for various alcoholic beverages, they may come to appreciate the flavors of a well-made martini. Some individuals may start with sweeter or less potent cocktails before acquiring a taste for the unique characteristics of a classic martini. Ultimately, taste preferences vary, and not everyone may acquire a liking for martinis.
Green Olives: The Good “Stuff”
Now, on to a section that I did not have to acquire a taste for…green olives 😍. While green olives are most definitely a “take ’em or leave ’em” kind of garnish, I will take them and take yours, too! Green olives are my favorite in the family of olives, but smoked olives may take the cake.
Green olives have a distinct taste that can vary depending on factors such as the variety of olive, processing methods, and any added seasonings or brine. Here are some common characteristics of the taste of green olives:
- Slightly Bitter: Green olives often have a mild to moderate bitterness, which can vary among different types. The bitterness is a natural component!
- Salty: Green olives are typically cured or brined, which imparts a salty flavor to them. The level of saltiness can vary based on the curing process and the type of brine used.
- Firm Texture: Green olives usually have a firm and slightly crunchy texture. The texture can range from crisp to more tender, depending on factors such as ripeness and processing.
- Fresh and Tangy: Green olives can also have a fresh and slightly tangy quality, especially if they are less ripe. This contributes to their overall flavor profile.
Additionally, stuffed green olives may have different flavors depending on the filling, such as garlic, cheese, or pimentos. So if you are a fan, smoked olives stuffed with cheese will bring a smile to your face!
Types of Martinis
The martini is said to first have been invented by a bartender at the Knickerbocker Hotel, named Martini di Arma di Taggia, invented the Martini in 1911 for America’s first billionaire, John B. Rockerfeller, co-founder of the Standard Oil Company. Others say it was first created in 1882, but who really knows when it was first created. What I do know for sure is that there have been several variations to pop up over the years!
The Three Main Martinis:
- Dry Martini: Considered the most classic representation of a martini, the dry martini consists of London dry gin (gin that has not been sweetened after the distilling process) and dry vermouth (fortified white wine: learn about that process here!) Add in 2 drops of orange bitters and a lemon twist, and you’re set!
- Dirty Martini: Another classic variation, this is what we are using to accompany our smoked olives! Essentially the same as the dry martini, but add in the olive brine to give the martini a cloudy visual and savory flavor! Read below to find the perfect ratio for a dirty martini!
- Vodka Martini: Now, some say that a vodka martini is not a martini due to the replacement of gin with vodka, but I say do what your heart desires! This is how Bond, James Bond enjoyed his martinis!
Try these on For Size!
- Martinez: This martini variant will look much different from a classic martini. This martini has gin and sweet vermouth ( fortified red wine) with a touch of Maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters). It is similar to a Manhattan, but a Manhattan contains bourbon!
- Smoky Martini: Swap the dry vermouth with a scotch whiskey and a twisted lemon! I bet those smoked olives would be delicious with this one!
- Cajun Martini: A vodka martini but using jalapeno-infused vodka!
Smoked Olives Stuffed with Creamy Blue Cheese
Now, for the main event! Typically, a dirty martini is served with a regular pimento stuffed olive. For this recipe, we will need a jar of extra large olives! The small ones will be a pain to try and stuff- so save yourself some frustration and opt for the big ones! If you buy the olives with pimentos, that’s fine- you can either remove and trash or save them for some pimento cheese– yum!! For these smoked olives, I purchased a jar of extra large olives with pimentos and just discarded the pimentos.
You will also need softened cream cheese, blue cheese crumbles, and heavy cream! The mixture is a well blended, creamy concoction, but make sure it is well- blended or it won’t pipe well! You will also need a piping bag (or a sturdy Ziploc bag with a small hole snipped in the corner to insert your piping tip).
For this recipe, use your Hickory smoke dust because it will pair well with the bitterness of the dirty martini! To make these hickory-smoked olives, there are two different methods you can choose from, or, do both!
- Add your blended mixture to a vessel that will fit the Smokeshow and smoke the mixture before piping.
- Pipe the mixture into your olives and then smoke the olives in a glass before skewering them for your martini.
- Do both methods combined for an extra smoky and briny pop in your mouth!
With the creamy mixture, you will definitely have leftovers! You can store the mixture in a sealable container in the fridge and save for a crostini with steak (omg yum!!) or go ahead and pipe all of the olives in the jar and store those in the brine for your next olive craving!
The Answer: Shaken or Stirred?
Finally, the question of the century. Do you shake or stir a martini and why did James Bond want his martinis shaken?? (Pop quiz: which martini did James Bond prefer? Answer is hidden in this article!!)
The choice between shaking and stirring a martini is a matter of personal preference and can depend on the ingredients used.
- Stirring is the traditional method for making a classic martini.
- It is gentler and helps maintain a smoother and clearer appearance in the drink.
- Stirring is commonly preferred when using all-spirit ingredients, like gin and vermouth.
- Shaking a martini is more vigorous and introduces air into the mixture.
- This method is often chosen when the cocktail includes ingredients like fruit juices, egg whites, or other non-clear components.
- Shaking can create a slightly frothier texture and may chill the drink more quickly.
So why did James Bond want his martinis shaken? As a spy, James Bond wanted to make sure he was always on his toes, thus choosing a method that waters down the beverage!
Martini with Smoked Stuffed Olives
- 1 Vessel for smoking the cheese/olives
- 1 Martini Glass
- 1 Skewer for the finished olives
- 1 Spoon to mix cheese mixture
- 1 piping bag and tip
- 1 Butane Kitchen Torch
- 1 Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker
- 1 Mixing glass, spoon, and strainer
- 3 oz gin or vodka
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1/2 oz olive brine from jar
Stuffed Olives Garnish
- 1/2 block softened cream cheese
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 2-3 pitted large green olives
- 1 tsp heavy cream
- 1 pinch Hickory Smoke Dust
- Combine cream cheese and blue cheese in a mixing glass with heavy cream. Stir until fully smooth.
- If choosing to smoke the mixture ahead of stuffing the olives, at this point, place smoker on top of vessel and add in the smoke dust to smoke. If you are not smoking, move on to the next step!
- Scoop mixture into the piping bag (make sure the tip is inserted!)
- Remove pimentos from green olives. Pipe mixture into green olive until filled. Set aside.
- If you want more smoke, place filled olive in a glass and smoke the whole olive!
- Skewer olives!
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add skewered olives and enjoy!