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Which Olive, which Martini?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 ColinRiggs

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 07:31 PM

Hello All,

Having been the victim of store-brand Olives, and being somewhat picky, what is the best brand of Olives that I can get for my Gin (Tanq, sometimes Plymouth, sometimes Gordons) Martini?

I find the type that they offer in the grocery, besides store brand, a little too hard/crunchy. Plus it seems like they focus on putting strange things inside the olives instead of actually getting a good olive.

So what do you EG regulars choose when buying for your precious Martini?

Thanks,

Colin Riggs
great forum btw, discovered Manhattans here.

#2 anil

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 07:57 PM

Pray what do olives in your drink do for you ? [ Not being scarastic..] Many bartenders add brine from the olives in the container to create a "Dirty martini"
Not being an olive(s) in my drink person, but a lover of various kinds of olives [Amish Market or Zabars are where I get them every other weekend :smile: ], I hope you could help us by elaborating on it a bit more -- Gracias
anil

#3 hollywood

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 09:00 PM

There used to be a place in Pasadena (Monaghan's) that made a drink called the Black Olive using guess what. Fave of Joe Wambaugh. Thought I'd expand your search.
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#4 ColinRiggs

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 09:59 PM

Pray what do olives in your drink do for you ? [ Not being scarastic..] Many bartenders add brine from the olives in the container to create a "Dirty martini"

I prefer my Martinis clean. Although I certainly don't mind the taste that olives sans brine add to the martini. The olives give me something to look forward to at the end of the drink. I thouroughly enjoy the taste of Gin soaked olives, or at least I used to. I am looking for a good Olive (or three), at the bottom of the glass, that happen to have laid down with the Gin.

Olives being the reason I first started liking Martinis in the first place, I am disturbed that I have started making the Gin Martinis *without* the olives. Maybe I have just been consuming too many crappy olives, but I'd like to reclaim the favored status that olives once had.

Colin Riggs
they just make me feel so 0-live,
sorry, couldn't help it.

#5 cdh

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 10:37 PM

When I think of olives, no brands come to mind. Nobody has successfully stuck a brand on an olive and made it stick in my mind. Olves have always come from anonymous vats, often not even labelled as to type, much less brand.

And there are so many types of olives out there-- recently I've been quite hooked on these amazingly vivid green olives that Fairway in NYC carries most of the time. They're packed in oil that has been infused with bay leaves (or something similar), and they're buttery and delicious. Don't think they'll go well in a martini, though... too much oiliness.

So, my advice is to stop hunting brands, and find an Italian/Greek market that has vast vats of olives and sample all they've got until you've found your ideal martini olive.

Apropos olives stuffed with wacky stuff, Fairway had some delicious olives pitted and stuffed with habanero peppers. Zingy... but delicious.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

----- De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

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#6 beans

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:47 AM

What Chris said.

If I wouldn't eat it in a tapenade, I wouldn't put it into my Martini. :cool: And I rather enjoy my garlic stuffed ones. Keeps the vampires away.

Welcome to eG ColinRiggs!

#7 Marlene

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:49 AM

I prefer a twist of lemon in my martini rather than an olive. I find the saltiness of olives (or the saltiness of the brine they were sitting in or whatever), impacts on the taste of the drink itself.
Marlene
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#8 JAZ

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:58 AM

Welcome, Colin.

Like Marlene, I usually go for a twist in my martinis, and when I am in the mood for another garnish, I tend to reach for pickled green tomatoes (aka "tomolives") or cocktail onions instead of olives.

I love olives of just about any type, though, and there was a time that my martini garnish of choice was an olive, so here are my thoughts.

Sable and Rosenfeld's Tipsy Olives are designed for martinis -- they're spiked with vermouth and stuffed with pimento -- and are a very good and reliable brand. They're pretty widely available, too (click here for search results). Reese's is another good choice, but be warned that they make all their garnishes very sour (they're my brand of choice for onions and green tomatoes, but they're too sour for some people).

For a while, I used to buy small green olives stuffed with lemon peel, which were ideal for martinis, but I can't find them any more. They also came stuffed with onions, which I also liked. I know they were a Spanish brand, so if you have a store that specializes in Spanish foods, it might be worth asking about.

The problem with using olives from the deli is that, while they're very good, many times they're packed in oil, which will leave an unattractive slick on the top of your drink. Plus, if they're packed with any herbs or whole spices, you'll get those floating around as well. And, if they have pits, you'll have to deal with that as well.

#9 trillium

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:15 AM

I have to have an olive in my martini. I use the queen size olives from Star that I buy at Costco. You get two huge jars for around $7 and their quality is pretty good, but I'm not picky about hardness, I just don't like them soft and mushy and I like the pimento to be a piece of pimento, not mushed up stuff. The Stars fit the the bill.

regards,
trillium

#10 Cusina

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:36 AM

I'm with you, love olives and initially started drinking martinis for the snack at the bottom. :shock: When you do sort through and find the perfect olive... get one of these.

I know, one more gadget for the drawer, but it really is a handy little thing. I pit them and then stuff with good blue cheese or gorgonzola.
What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

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#11 bleudauvergne

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 05:38 AM

Cusina - you are genius!

I was in this quandry about my real preference for the classic pimento stuffed olive in a martini and all this talk about good olives - once it's pitted it doesn't last long, almost impossible to find a good pimento stuffed olive in my neck of the woods.

So now I can do it myself and even stuff olives with all kinds of lovely things to serve with my aperetif! I'm making a list right now.

Thanks -
- Lucy

#12 KatieLoeb

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 07:07 AM

Although this might qualify for your definition of "strange things" in your olives, I've always been partial to the Blue Cheese stuffed olives that they use at Martini Beach in Cape May, NJ. Now that's something to look forward to at the end of your drink!

Katie M. Loeb
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#13 DaleJ

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 08:38 AM

Omygod! I eat the olives first! All those years.......

#14 robyn

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 07:40 PM

Although this might qualify for your definition of "strange things" in your olives, I've always been partial to the Blue Cheese stuffed olives that they use at Martini Beach in Cape May, NJ. Now that's something to look forward to at the end of your drink!

They have blue cheese olives at the Ruth's Chris where I live. Love the olives - but on the side. They're a bit much for a martini in my opinion. Robyn

#15 Marlene

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 07:50 PM

Omygod! I eat the olives first! All those years.......

That's ok, so did I when I had olives in my martinis :biggrin:
Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.