El Five Martini

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

At Denver’s Mediterranean restaurant, El Five, the Dirty Martini is an olive-lover’s dream come true. “Using Spanish olive oil to fat wash the gin was kind of a no-brainer for enhancing the typical Martini,” bartender Ky Belk says. “I love the aromatic notes the gin picks up from fat-washing, as well as the slight change in mouthfeel. Subbing in briny Manzanilla for vermouth was another nod to the region we are representing in the restaurant.” Belk kicks it up another notch by infusing his own olive brine with aromatics like peppercorns, sherry vinegar and rosemary. “In my experience, Dirty Martinis are really about the salt in the olive brine,” he says. “The salinity and complexity of the brine, paired with the more subtle character of vodka or gin, makes it easier to enjoy the classic cocktail with food.” Stir up this flavor bomb of a cocktail, grab a dish of olives and some salty ham, and live your best, briny life.




Step one

Combine gin, sherry and olive brine in a shaker tin with ice, and shake.

Step three

Express lemon zest over drink's surface and discard peel.

Step four

Garnish with three olives on a pick.

Contributed by Ky Belk

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