So I’ve been drinking dirty martinis lately. I’m not much of a martini drinker, and truth be told I don’t really like olives, but the salty briny taste it imparts to a dirty martini has really been calling out to me lately. I’ve even been adding a shake or two of salt straight into the drink, because it’s just not quite satisfying the itch I’ve got. So I stumbled to the fridge, looking for something to plop in my gin to give it the taste I was looking for. And there it was.
Banana peppers. Sliced. Mild.
Could this be what I’d been looking for all along? Staring me back in the face, right in the middle of everything…was it the answer? I quickly grabbed everything else I needed and put the following together, which I now call the Dirty Pepper Martini.
Dirty Pepper Martini
2 1/2 oz. Gin*
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
Banana Pepper brine to taste (start with a teaspoon, and add until you’re happy)
Banana Pepper slice for garnish
Combine liquid ingredients in a lowball glass filled with ice, and stir. Garnish with banana pepper slice.
(I prefer mine on the rocks, but if you prefer yours shaken/chilled and in a proper martini glass, feel free to prepare it as such)
*Vodka also works fine, if you prefer it
I don’t know if this is the drink I’ve been searching for, but it’s damn close that’s for sure. The spice of the pepper is enough to give it a nice flavor kick, but without being hot so you’re not overwhelmed with the heat of the drink over the taste (as you might be if you used another type of pepper). The pepper juice maintains the salty taste I’d been enjoying in the traditional dirty martinis. I considered making it with Absolut Peppar, in fact it almost seemed like a natural step, but then I remembered being uhmm…unhappy with the taste of it when I took a shot of it once (read: it nearly made me puke), and I didn’t feel like ponying up the cash for something I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to enjoy.
So if this sounds like your kind of thing, give it a shot and let me know what you think. If you’ve never had a dirty martini before, I’d suggest starting there before giving this bad boy a test drive. If you have any suggestions/changes/additions/subtractions feel free to note them in the comments or hit me up on the ol’ electronic mail.