Make It Dirty

7 March 2016 | 12:26 pm | Xavier Fennell

There will never be a day where the word martini isn't associated with 007 — but while Bond was swaggering around uttering the classic "shaken not stirred" line, there was definitely some dude in the background taking it just that little bit further, cheekily grinning at the bartender before proposing that he "make it dirty". Xavier Fennell takes us through the difference — and where to get some of the best.

A 'clean' martini generally consists of gin or vodka shaken or stirred on ice with dry vermouth before being poured into a chilled martini glass with one of those fancy-looking skewered olive garnishes.

However if you're goin' dirty, there is one very slight yet important difference. Get rid of that vermouth, who needs it! You're dirty and you know it! The olive brine is now your best friend: you need a dirty drink and the brine is the answer.

Bringing the brine to the table gives the martini a refreshingly salty flavour on top of the gin or vodka that leaves you feeling like a more of a badarse that James Bond ever was.

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Now it's time to hunt down the best dirty martinis in town:


Wilcox — 453 Miller St Cammeray

Filthy Martini: Wilcox replace the olive brine with pickle for something a little different, giving their filthy a slightly sweeter taste than usual.

Archie Rose — 61 Mentmore Ave, Rosebery

Classic Dry Martini: Be a true local and order one made with house-distilled gin. Combined with tingles of citrus and herbal notes with the brine balance bang on.

Stitch Bar — 61 York St, Sydney

Dirty Martini: They've got Sipsmiths gin and will make you a dirty martini if you ask (nicely) that will blow you off the bar and into one of the vintage sewing machines that line the place.


Bad Frankie's — 141 Greeves St, Fitzroy

Salty Dog Martini: An Aussie take on the dirty, consisting of West Winds Cutlass mixed with dry vermouth and their own Salt Bush saline solution.

Lily Blacks — 2 Meyers Pl, Melbourne

XXX Dirty Martini: Plymouth Gin poured over muddled olives, garnished with olives, pickled garlic and a gherkin.

1806 — 169 Exhibition St, Melbourne

House Martini: Boasting the most extensive cocktail menu in Melbourne, 1806 asks you to specify your preferred gin, vermouth and garnish for their house martini. Just ask for a dirty.