Upgrade Your Martini Olive

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

Olives have been an integral component of Martinis since the Prohibition era, doubling as both a snack and a garnish. Not just any olive can stand up to the tall order of being a perfect complement for such a substantive cocktail. Here are our best recommendations for an olive-and-Martini match made in heaven.


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.


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.


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.


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

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