Food is an amazing thing, but sometimes the spotlight finds itself shifting from the food itself, to the drink accompanying it. That is exactly what happened while visiting XIX (Nineteen) restaurant in center city Philly.
I, being a big fan of a classic dirty martini, ordered this similar drink off their bar menu. I was intrigued, but not necessarily expecting anything special. I was soooooooo wrong. In fact, I am pretty sure I smiled every time I took a sip of this cocktail… literally… every sip.
What made this drink so special? The pickle juice. It was not just ordinary pickle juice, it was spicy! There was definitely a kick, but the spice elevated this play on a dirty martini to something fantastical.
I had to recreate this at home.
The key to making this drink successfully at home was finding the right pickle juice. Exploring the grocery store for options, I came across Brooklyn Brine Co. Damn Spicy pickles. They pickle this particular cucumber with a brine infused with habanero peppers.
Three parts vodka. One part vermouth. One part pickle juice (I like my martinis extra dirty). All that in a martini shaker with some ice, 50 shakes — it’s a habit — poured into a chilled martini glass and garnished with a pickle and you will have your self a great variation of a dirty martini.
If you are a fan of the briney taste of olives, pickles and the like — or just dirty martinis in general — this drink is for you. Recipe here if you are not able to make it to XIX in Philadelphia.