Pickle Martini Cocktail Drink

Pickle Martini

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Shake things up with our Pickle Martini recipe! With just a handful of ingredients, you can make a cocktail that will refresh and impress at any gathering.

Pickle Martini Recipe

Embrace the summer vibe with our Pickle Martini recipe! This cool Cocktail skillfully blends vodka with pickle juice for a refreshingly tangy treat that's bound to be a hit at your next barbecue or beach bash!

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

162 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz pickle juice
  • ½ oz dry Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Pickle spear, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your Martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to chill while you prepare the drink.
  • Add dry Vermouth: Pour ½ oz dry Vermouth into the shaker.
  • Add pickle juice: Pour 1 oz pickle juice into the shaker.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the shaker.
  • Add ice: Ice up the shaker.
  • Shake Well: Cap your shaker and shake the mixture vigorously until the exterior frosts.
  • Prep Serving Glass: Remove the Martini glass from the freezer or empty the ice cubes.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture from the shaker into your chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a pickle spear.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: When I ran out of vodka, I used gin and found that it added a nice botanical complexity to the drink. Tequila can also be an interesting substitute if you're up for an adventurous twist.
  • Pickle Juice: No pickle juice? No problem. I've crafted my own by simmering vinegar, water, a touch of salt, and a dash of dill weed. Let it cool before using, and you're set!
  • Dry Vermouth: If dry Vermouth is unavailable, I've sometimes replaced it with white wine or sake for a subtle twist without compromising the integrity of the Cocktail.

Making a Pitcher of Pickle Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of vodka, 8 oz of pickle juice, and 4 oz of dry Vermouth.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients. Stir well, then refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
  • Serve: Stir again before serving. Pour into individual chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a pickle spear, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka alternative, available in stores, or opt for water mixed with a squeeze of lemon for some added zest.
  • Proceed As Usual: Follow the original steps using the non-alcoholic substitute, and enjoy a mocktail version of the classic cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

  • Verification: Ensure your vodka and Vermouth are vegan. Some brands use animal products in processing. Opt for brands known for their vegan processes.
  • Pickle Check: Surprisingly, some pickles aren't vegan due to natural flavors or dyes. Confirm your pickle choice is free from these ingredients.
  • Proceed As Usual: Once you've verified these elements, follow the original recipe steps for a delightful Vegan version.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
162
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
427
mg
19
%
Carbohydrates
 
4
g
1
%
Sugar
 
0.2
g
0
%
Potassium
 
15
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.01
mg
0
%

 

Pickle Martini Cocktail Drink

Pickle Martini Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Embrace the summer vibe with our Pickle Martini recipe! This cool Cocktail skillfully blends vodka with pickle juice for a refreshingly tangy treat that's bound to be a hit at your next barbecue or beach bash!
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 162

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz pickle juice
  • ½ oz dry Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Pickle spear - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your Martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to chill while you prepare the drink.
  • Add dry Vermouth: Pour ½ oz dry Vermouth into the shaker.
  • Add pickle juice: Pour 1 oz pickle juice into the shaker.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the shaker.
  • Add ice: Ice up the shaker.
  • Shake Well: Cap your shaker and shake the mixture vigorously until the exterior frosts.
  • Prep Serving Glass: Remove the Martini glass from the freezer or empty the ice cubes.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture from the shaker into your chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a pickle spear.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: When I ran out of vodka, I used gin and found that it added a nice botanical complexity to the drink. Tequila can also be an interesting substitute if you're up for an adventurous twist.
  • Pickle Juice: No pickle juice? No problem. I've crafted my own by simmering vinegar, water, a touch of salt, and a dash of dill weed. Let it cool before using, and you're set!
  • Dry Vermouth: If dry Vermouth is unavailable, I've sometimes replaced it with white wine or sake for a subtle twist without compromising the integrity of the Cocktail.

Making a Pitcher of Pickle Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of vodka, 8 oz of pickle juice, and 4 oz of dry Vermouth.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients. Stir well, then refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
  • Serve: Stir again before serving. Pour into individual chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a pickle spear, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka alternative, available in stores, or opt for water mixed with a squeeze of lemon for some added zest.
  • Proceed As Usual: Follow the original steps using the non-alcoholic substitute, and enjoy a mocktail version of the classic cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

  • Verification: Ensure your vodka and Vermouth are vegan. Some brands use animal products in processing. Opt for brands known for their vegan processes.
  • Pickle Check: Surprisingly, some pickles aren't vegan due to natural flavors or dyes. Confirm your pickle choice is free from these ingredients.
  • Proceed As Usual: Once you've verified these elements, follow the original recipe steps for a delightful Vegan version.

What is a Pickle Martini?

A Pickle Martini combines vodka or gin with pickle juice for a tangy kick. Its straightforward name highlights its defining ingredient, offering a bold, savory flavor.

A side shot of a Pickle Martini in a martini glass on a wooden tray with three pickles and a bar spoon on a side, placed on a white table with a green cloth, a jigger and plant leaves around.

What is in a Pickle Martini – The ingredients

  • Vodka or Gin: Provides the strong, neutral base that carries the other flavors; vodka offers purity, while gin adds a botanical touch.
  • Pickle Juice: Injects a salty, tangy kick that defines the Cocktail’s unique flavor profile.
  • Dry Vermouth (optional): Balances the drink with a hint of herbal sweetness and complexity.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills and slightly dilutes the mix for a smoother taste.
  • Pickle Spear: Serves as a garnish, enhancing the drink’s visual appeal and hinting at the savory flavor to come.

Vodka, dry vermouth and pickles laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Pickle Martini?

To make a great Pickle Martini, follow our steps:

1
<p>Start by placing your martini glass in the freezer for a couple of hours or fill the martini glass with ice cubes. This ensures your drink stays cold longer.</p>

Start by placing your martini glass in the freezer for a couple of hours or fill the martini glass with ice cubes. This ensures your drink stays cold longer.

2
<p>Pour ½ ounce of dry vermouth into the cocktail shaker.</p>

Pour ½ ounce of dry vermouth into the cocktail shaker.

3
<p>Add 1 ounce of pickle juice to the shaker. The pickle juice adds a unique tangy flavor to the martini. and 2 ounces of vodka or gin.</p>

Add 1 ounce of pickle juice to the shaker. The pickle juice adds a unique tangy flavor to the martini. and 2 ounces of vodka or gin.

4
<p> Pour 2 ounces of vodka or gin into the shaker.</p>

Pour 2 ounces of vodka or gin into the shaker.

5
<p>Ice up the shaker, to chill the mixture.</p>

Ice up the shaker, to chill the mixture.

6
<p>Cap your shaker and shake the mixture vigorously until the exterior frosts.</p>

Cap your shaker and shake the mixture vigorously until the exterior frosts.

7
<p>While the drink chills, take the martini glass out of the freezer or remove the ice cubes from the glass, in case you used ice cubes. Skewer a couple of pickles on a cocktail stick for garnish.</p>

While the drink chills, take the martini glass out of the freezer or remove the ice cubes from the glass, in case you used ice cubes. Skewer a couple of pickles on a cocktail stick for garnish.

8
<p>Place a strainer over the shaker and strain the chilled mixture into your prepared martini glass. Straining prevents ice chips from entering the drink.</p>

Place a strainer over the shaker and strain the chilled mixture into your prepared martini glass. Straining prevents ice chips from entering the drink.

9
<p>Finally, garnish your Pickle Martini with the skewered pickles.</p>

Finally, garnish your Pickle Martini with the skewered pickles.

10
<p>Enjoy your Pickle Martini!</p>

Enjoy your Pickle Martini!

Pickle Martini without Vermouth – The Dill Pickle Martini

A Dill Pickle Martini is a variation of the traditional martini, where the standout feature is the inclusion of dill pickle juice and often a dill pickle spear as a garnish. The dill pickle juice infuses the Cocktail with a tangy, savory, and slightly herbaceous flavor, making it distinct from martinis using classic olive brine or standard pickle juice. This Cocktail appeals to those who enjoy the pronounced, refreshing taste of dill pickles, offering a unique twist on the typical martini experience.

A side shot of a Pickle Martini in a martini glass on a wooden tray with three pickles and a bar spoon on a side, placed on a white table with a green cloth, a jigger and plant leaves around.

Variations

Still craving for pickled Cocktails? Give one a try from our list of variations:

  • Spicy Pickle Martini: A fiery kick from hot sauce or jalapeño slices sets this apart, perfectly complementing the salty pickle juice. The bold, spicy notes invigorate the palate, making it an exciting choice for those who love a bit of heat.
  • Pickleback Martini: Whiskey and classic martini ingredients blend in this homage to the pickleback shot. The warmth of the whiskey balances the tangy pickle flavor, creating a harmonious and surprisingly smooth taste.
  • Dill Pickle Martini: Featuring the herbaceous quality of dill, this martini pairs it with tangy pickle juice for a refreshing, slightly grassy taste. The aromatic dill enhances the drink, giving it a fresh, garden-like vibe that’s both invigorating and enjoyable.
  • Vodka Pickle Martini: Using vodka as its base, this martini allows the spirit’s clean, crisp character to highlight the pickle’s tanginess. The neutrality of the vodka provides a perfect backdrop, resulting in a sharp, refreshingly tangy experience.
  • Gin Pickle Martini: This martini marries gin’s botanical notes with the sharpness of pickle juice. The herbal and floral nuances of the gin add complexity, creating a layered and intricate flavor. The interplay of gin’s botanicals with the pickle zest is enchanting, offering a sophisticated and engaging taste journey.

A side shot of a Pickle Martini in a martini glass on a wooden tray with a shaker, a bar spoon and three pickles, placed on a white table with a jigger on a green cloth behind.

History and Origins of the Pickle Martini

The Pickle Martini, a quirky yet beloved twist on the classic martini, doesn’t hail from one specific origin point, but rather, it emerged over time, much like many modern cocktails. Its creation likely stems from the broader practice of chasing a shot of whiskey with pickle brine, known as a “pickleback,” a trend that surged in popularity across bars in the United States around the mid-2000s.

The concept of combining pickle juice with alcohol isn’t new; Eastern European countries have long consumed pickles alongside their spirits, appreciating the way the acidity and saltiness of the pickle complement strong liquors. This cultural practice likely influenced the American pickleback and, eventually, the Pickle Martini.

As bartenders continued experimenting with flavor profiles and ingredients, the idea of incorporating pickle brine into a cocktail naturally evolved. Given the martini’s status as a versatile cocktail that welcomes experimentation, it became an ideal candidate for this briny innovation. The Pickle Martini gained attention as patrons sought drinks with more adventurous and savory flavors beyond the sweet and fruity concoctions that dominated many cocktail menus.

A Pickle Martini, shot from above, in a martini glass on a white table, surrounded by a vodka and a dry vermouth bottle, and a wooden coaster with six pickles.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Pickle Martini?
A standard serving contains approximately 150 to 200 calories, depending on the exact measurements of alcohol and the type of pickle juice used.
How strong is a Pickle Martini?
The cocktail strength can vary based on the alcohol content of the chosen vodka or gin, but it generally hovers around 30% ABV (60 proof).
What type of alcohol is used in a Pickle Martini?
Vodka or gin is the primary alcohol used in a Pickle Martini, offering a neutral or botanical base for the pickle brine’s tangy flavor.
In which glass is a Pickle Martini served?
The cocktail is traditionally served in a standard martini glass, a cocktail glass.
What does a Pickle Martini taste like?
A Pickle Martini has a unique, savory, and tangy taste profile, combining the clean, crisp notes of vodka or the herbal notes of gin with the sharp, salty flavor of pickle juice.
What is the ratio in a Pickle Martini?
The typical ratio is 2 parts vodka or gin to 1 part pickle juice and ½ part of vermouth, though personal preference may lead some to adjust the ratio slightly.
How is a Pickle Martini served in terms of ice?
It is usually shaken with ice to chill and slightly dilute the drink, then strained and served “up” without ice in a martini glass.

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