When I went alcohol free back in March, I knew that there were certain drinks that I was going to miss. Giving up wine with dinner was tough, but knowing I wouldn’t have Dirty Vodka Martinis again was probably the most difficult. It was, hands down, my favorite cocktail. As I started experimenting with making mocktails, I found that it was fairly easy to substitute Alcohol-Free Spirits in classic cocktails and still have a delicious drink. I had so much fun trying out all these new Zero-Proof recipes, but I never attempted the Dirty Martini. I simply put it out of my mind and moved on. I thought I would never be able to recreate it and I would just get frustrated and sad that it wasn’t the same. After all, it is basically all booze and there aren’t really vodka alternatives on the market.
One day, about five months into my journey at a family reunion in Michigan, I had a very sudden and strong craving for olives. It was that Golden Happy Hour when the sun was just getting ready to set. Everyone was making cocktails and I decided it was finally time to give it a try. If I just ended up eating 10 olives or taking a shot of olive brine, I was going to squelch the craving one way or another. I experimented at the bar, trying different things and playing with ratios until finally, I found it! My perfect Zero-Proof Dirty Marti-NO and it was just as delicious as I remembered.
- 1 oz Gin Alternative (I used A Cut Above)
- 1 oz Seedlip Garden 108
- 1 oz Olive Brine
Add ice and all ingredients to a martini shaker, shake for 10 seconds, pour into a chilled martini glass, garnish with an olive (or 3) and enjoy!
I always ordered mine on the extra dirty side so you may need to tweak the olive juice if it’s too much for your taste. I never drank Gin when I would have alcohol so I never really thought of using it in my Marti-NO recipe. It turns out it is a wonderful substitute for drinks that typically use Vodka. The Seedlip Garden 108 gives it a botanical mouthfeel and bite and the olive juice is just the glorious icing on the cake.
Sipping that salty, savory concoction while watching the sun dip below Lake Michigan was heavenly. It was wonderful to enjoy my special drink with the rest of my family up on the roof and feel included in the celebration. I know it probably doesn’t taste exactly like the original but I also know that my tastes have changed since I stopped drinking alcohol. One thing I can say for sure is that olive juice was always my favorite ingredient!
Melissa Tuleja, Zero-Proof Mixologist, Carmel Mom
Social Media: IG @melissa.mocktail