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Amp Up Your Classic Martini With That Leftover Pickle Juice In The Fridge

Two pickle martinis
Two pickle martinis - Elena Rui/Getty Images

Whether you prefer a tall glass of red wine or a standard old fashioned when it's time for cocktail hour, you have to admit that one of the most timeless libations of them all is the quintessential dirty martini. While this enduring, no-frills drink is perfect on its own, there's a certain thrill that comes with branching out and rediscovering new ways to make a martini. Enter pickle juice.

Although it's unconventional, infusing your martini with leftover pickle juice isn't an extreme departure from the traditional olive brine, as the pickle juice imparts a tangy, savory, and pleasantly brackish flavor to the mix. Further, the salt in the pickle brine can amplify the herbal and botanical notes in the liquor and vermouth you use, while its tart, semi-sour flavor brings an uplifting and refreshing edge to the drink. Plus, turning your leftover pickle juice into a dirty martini instead of throwing it out can help you develop scrappy, waste-free culinary practices. Eco-friendly drinking for the win!

Read more: The Ultimate Vodka Brands, Ranked

Hot Tips For An Ice-Cold Pickle Martini

Bartender making martinis
Bartender making martinis - Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock

You don't have to be an expert to make a good dirty pickle martini, but you should keep a few tips in mind to craft one that's well-balanced with bold yet clean flavors. First, make sure you're using fresh pickle juice. Pickle juice is a natural preservative, so you can hang onto that briny liquid for up to two months before it expires. If you notice any foul smells, extreme color changes, or organic growth in the brine, though, don't consume it.

Now back to the fun stuff. The ratios you use for your pickle martini are contingent on how strong you want the pickle flavor to be. A good place to start is 2 ounces of vodka or gin, followed by ½ ounce of pickle juice and vermouth. If that's not enough briny goodness for your liking, add more pickle juice until you reach your desired flavor. Garnishing with a sprig of dill and a cocktail pickle will bolster those familiar pickled flavors.

But wait — vodka or gin?! The liquor you choose significantly impacts the flavor of the drink, and while both are great options, it's worth considering the differences. Vodka is made to have a neutral flavor profile, which makes it a great option if you mainly want to taste the pickle juice. Gin, however, is flavored with botanicals such as juniper and citrus peel, which adds character and complexity but may curb the pickle flavor.

Pickle Martini Food Pairings

Pickles in martini glass with snacks
Pickles in martini glass with snacks - Davisaurus Rex/Shutterstock

Unless you plan to garnish your martini with a meal's worth of pickles, you'll need some complementary food pairings to soak up all that boozy, briny goodness. Serve your pickle martini with something hearty, like a succulent filet mignon or charred chicken breast to ground the brightness of the drink with the umami-packed flavor of meat.

If you want something more snacky, a charcuterie board decked out with rich cheeses, cured meats, salty nuts, and fruity jams is a finger-food meal that, when combined with a pickle martini, culminates in a tapestry of every flavor you can think of. Another great pairing is smoked salmon, as its campfire aroma and delicate oceanic essence play nicely with the tangy notes of the cocktail.

Don't limit yourself: This one-of-a-kind cocktail also goes well with pizza, pasta, burgers, and much more, so have fun unearthing the dozens of ways you can pair a pickle martini. Next time you're headed to the sink to dump your leftover pickle brine, spare your drain and transform it into a martini instead — it's only one of the many things you can do with leftover pickle juice.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.