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A martini (or two) is a great way to relax after a long day

Top off your Dirty Garden Martini with delicious olives from your own garden

If you've ever tried to grow olives in your backyard, you'll know the initial harvest is usually quite minimal. So, if you're lucky to reach October with a handful of green olives ready in your garden, rejoice!

It's time for a toast. And a classic martini is a perfect cocktail to highlight your coveted olive crop.

Curing Olives

But first, you'll have to cure your olives. Green olives are unripe and notoriously bitter.

To cure them:

  1. Make a slice in each olive with a paring knife.
  2. Place the olives in a glass jar and fill it up with brine (75 mL pickling salt, 125 mL white wine vinegar, plus 1 litre of water).
  3. Leave the olives to soak in the brine (in the refrigerator) for at least 30 days, changing the brine weekly.

When they are no longer bitter, your olives are ready for happy hour. If you don't grow enough olives in your own garden, look for them at farmers' markets and deli counters.

Dirty Garden Martini

Over ice in a cocktail shaker, add 2 ounces gin (or vodka if you prefer), 1/4 ounce dry vermouth and 1/2 ounce olive brine and two cured green olives. Shake, strain and serve straight up in a martini glass, garnishing with another olive, or two.