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Martini pickles, Mr. Bond? Shaken… not stirred.

May 16, 2014

A couple of years ago, I made Molotov cocktail pickles with vodka. Before that I made maple whiskey/whiskey pickles & hop pickles. There was also a grilled pickle recipe I made a while back. Maybe I’m kinda known for making odd or unique pickles at this point.

So when the idea struck me for these I don’t think anyone was surprised.

See, in Russia, apparently it’s a thing to serve pickles with vodka. Not only that, but it’s a big process with shots of vodka, dill pickles & a piece of pumpernickel bread. I didn’t know this, which maybe I should considering Jay is part Russian. And very Russian at that: his great-grandfather fought in the Russian Army in the 19-teens.

Martini pickles!But at any rate as soon as I heard this little bit of information it got me thinking (just like how the idea of pickle backs got me thinking of whiskey pickles). First I thought of just adding vodka to regular pickles, then I figured why not go all the way…

All the way to a martini, that is!

A traditional martini is made with gin (and nobody wants gin & pickles together, ever. EVER.). So this is a spin on a vodka martini; and therefore it contains olive juice, an olive and two pearl onions. Vodka martinis can be “dirty”; served with olive juice & an olive, or straight up. A Gibson martini is served with an onion, usually a pearl onion.

Martini pickles with pearl onions, olive juice, and vodka.

So it stands to reason in this batch of pickles, there’s both olive juice and pearl onions. Oh! And an olive too.


Makes a quart or more


  • 4-5 Kirby cucumbers, sliced into chips
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar, 5%
  • 1/3 cup vodka (I used Stoli, because Russian)
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 2 springs fresh dill
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 2 whole pearl onions (on the large side)
  • 1 teaspoon olive juice (the liquid from a jar of stuffed Manzanilla olives)
  • 1 stuffed Manzanilla olive


  1. Pack the cucumbers loosely in a jar along with the dill sprigs & olive.
  2. Bring water, vinegar, pickling spice, peppercorns, pearl onions and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, remove from the heat and add vodka. Pour the hot liquid over cucumbers, leaving 1/2″-inch headspace. Place lids, screw bands to fingertip tight, and process jars for 10 minutes in a waterbath canner.
  3. Check for seal after 12 hours, if not sealed put them in the fridge and eat ‘em now. If they are sealed, let these bad boys sit for a week or so to infuse all the flavors together.
  4. Alternatively, make them refrigerator pickles and omit the water bath step (as I did). They still need to sit for a week!

Serve them in a martini glass for extra cuteness. Or just any little glass dish…

Martini pickles.

Disclaimer: No, it’s not cucumber or pickle season yet. But when you have an idea, sometimes you have to just run with it!

SERVING SUGGESTION: right out of the jar, fried, with vodka or a vodka martini, dipped in sour cream, serve with crusty bread, cured meats & cheese, on a fancy hamburger.
SOUNDTRACK: Vincent Price is Right – “Romanov With Their Heads!”
SOURCES & CREDITS: Silver tray; vintage, large Bakelite serving fork; vintage, ATLAS MASON jar; Classico pasta sauce, dessert bowl; Crate & Barrel.
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  1. WELL. These pickles may have to happen approximately as soon as I get home, because they sounds amazing! I’m going to use an English cucumber, though, because I am a rebel (and because I have one in the fridge already, haha).

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