What I make when I’ve had a long day. (And by make, I mean, what I make my husband make for me—same thing.) An almost-classic dirty martini, except instead of olive brine, we’re using feta brine. This, too, is salty and savory. But it is also milky and soft, a mellow liquid that I would happily sip straight. It also invites the opportunity to stuff an olive with feta, for a built-in, cheesy snack. Now, about the other ingredients: I almost always order a gin martini. But! In certain scenarios, vodka reigns supreme. Say, a pickle-brine martini, which is even more pay-attention-to-me than olive brine. Or, as we’re making today, a feta-brine martini. Without the botanicals, vodka is happy to stand back and let someone else steal the show. I opted for a 2:1 ratio of vodka-to-vermouth. But I’m also a big fan of the 50-50 formula. Play around with the ratio, depending on your mood. Just don’t skip the feta brine. It makes the drink, reminding me of a vacation, or the ocean, or a vacation by the ocean. —Emma Laperruque
Stuff the olives with feta, then spear them on a cocktail pick and plunk into your glass of choice. (Or if you don’t have a cocktail pick, just drop the olives into a glass.)
Add the vodka, vermouth, and strained feta brine to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the living daylights out of it. Strain into a glass and taste. More vodka, vermouth, or feta brine? Adjust if needed. Add some bonus ice cubes if on-the-rocks is your thing.
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.