Pickles are the unsung heroes of the snack world. Whether we’re talking classic dill spears, bread-and-butter slices, or crisp, sweet gherkins, we at Thanksgiving & Co never need an excuse to put pickles on our eats — but what about in our drinks? Presenting: the pickle cocktail — ahem, the pickle martini — crafted with your very own garlic-infused vodka.
You have likely sipped on a bloody Mary garnished with a juicy pickle spear or a Gibson martini with a pickled cocktail onion, so it’s high time we talk about putting some savory into your cocktail game.
You won’t need super-expensive vodka for this one, because the flavor from the garlic infusion is going to be so prominent. A nice pickle brine that satisfies that vinegar craving and pairs with the flavor of garlic is more important. Store-bought brine is just fine, but you get extra points for creativity if you make your own.
Our garlic pickle martini is a drool-worthy mashup of savory, tangy, garlicky and boozy. And when it’s done right, it’s a showstopper for summer cookouts and a tasty escape from sugary frozen cocktails.
How to infuse vodka
The garlic-vodka infusion makes this recipe a two-step process, but we guarantee that the final product will be worth it.
If you’ve never infused liquor before, it’s important to know that timing is everything, especially with a flavor as strong as garlic. Too little time on the infusion, and the flavor falls flat. Too much time, and you’re going to be stuck with garlic breath for the next week.
I used three cloves of garlic in one 750ml bottle of vodka and let it infuse for 24 hours at room temperature.
Storing a spirit in the freezer while it’s infusing actually slows down the process and doesn’t do anything to enhance flavor. Let your bottle of vodka rest on the counter while it’s absorbing all that garlicky goodness. Room temperature is best.
After 24 hours, remove the garlic cloves. The easiest way to strain your freshly made garlic vodka is to pour the liquid into a separate container, fish out the garlic cloves, then use a small funnel (or a very steady hand) to return the vodka to its bottle.