You can skip most jarred specimens—for the best garnishes for your cocktail, head to the olive bar.

Mary-Frances Heck
May 07, 2018

 

Queen

Bigger in size and meatier than Manzanillas, Queen olives beg to be stuffed with anchovies, almonds, garlic, or blue cheese. They make a festive addition to a Bloody Mary. 

Cerignola

Large, meaty, and rarely pitted, Cerignola olives are almost an appetizer. Thread a cocktail pick around the pit, or serve these in a small dish alongside a dry gin martini. 

Manzanilla

The one exception to the “no jars!” rule are these premium Spanish olives stuffed with sweet pimientos to balance their bitterness. Dirty martini fan? Manzanilla brine is the classic addition.

Castelvetrano

Tender, sweet, and buttery, these Italian olives are an ideal garnish for that sweet-bitter aperitivo, the Venetian Spritz (see below). Their gentle brininess pairs beautifully with the traditional, orange-scented drink. 

Make this cocktail: Venetian Spritz

Pour 1 ounce Aperol and 1 ounce Campari into an ice-filled wine glass. Top with 2 ounces Prosecco and 2 ounces club soda. Garnish with an orange slice and a Castelvetrano olive.

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