TikTok's Dirty Martini Pasta Turns The Classic Cocktail Into Dinner

Cooking with alcohol isn't exactly ubiquitous, but it also isn't unheard of either. You might find rum and bourbon infused into desserts like fruitcake and tiramisu, and gin is often used to make pie dough flakey or to flambé a baked Alaska. But perhaps the most notable use of alcohol in cooking is penne alla vodka. The vodka is added to the tomato- and cream-based sauce, then cooked down to leave a distinct flavor behind. The alcohol in TikTok's dirty martini pasta has a similar effect.

Posted to the app by content creator and private chef Emily Eggers, the viral recipe shares the majority of its ingredients with a dirty martini. The classic cocktail is made with either vodka or gin, dry vermouth, and olive brine. It usually comes garnished with olives, lemon peel, or a pearl onion. As for the pasta dish, Eggers makes a few modifications to the ingredients, transforming the cocktail into a whole meal.

How to make dirty martini pasta

Dirty martini pasta starts with olives and lemon zest, two ingredients that can be found in the popular drink, but to marry these flavors together, garlic and olive oil are also added. Then, to create a sauce, per Emily Eggers' instructions, vodka or gin plus olive oil and melted butter are whisked in.


dirty martini pasta 🫒🫶🏻🍸 recipe below: **measurements are approx. measure with ur heart!** * 1 clove garlic, minced * 1-2 tbsp olive oil * 5-7 pitted Castelvetrano olives, smashed and chopped lightly * pasta of choice * lemon zest * 1-2 tbsp olive brine * 2 tbsp Gin or Vodka * 1 tbsp butter * salt, pepper * Fresh parsley * crumbled blue cheese (optional) instructions: – add olive oil to a pot over med heat. add garlic and stir. – add lemon zest and olive and sauté until fragrant and garlic is lightly toasted – add gin to hot pot and stir until it is almost evaporated. – add olive brine. – Add butter and stir continuously to emulsify butter until fully melted. – add cooked pasta and combine. season with salt and pepper to taste – serve hot and garnish with olives, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and blue cheese crumbles.

♬ This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole

Other iterations of dirty martini pasta also call for onion, anchovy, and dill — Rachael Ray even adds shrimp and vermouth to her version — but Eggers keeps it relatively simple. After the sauce comes together, she recommends going straight in with the pasta and some salt and pepper before garnishing with fresh parsley, crumbled blue cheese to make it "extra dirty," and the remaining lemon zest and olives. The blue cheese, she noted in a comment under her follow-up video, can be subbed for feta, goat, or parmesan cheese. However, if you like your dirty martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives, you'll likely want to stick to the original recipe.

What does dirty martini pasta taste like?

Despite it containing many of the same ingredients as a dirty martini, the pasta doesn't end up tasting exactly like a cocktail, and it isn't just due to the absence of vermouth and the addition of olive oil, garlic, and parsley. When you cook alcohol, as is the case with this recipe, you also alter and improve the taste. Once the alcohol completely evaporates, the bitterness and characteristic boozy bite go away. The alcohol's fruity esters are released, and a unique flavor is left behind, ultimately rounding out the dish. So, while you could technically make dirty martini pasta without the two tablespoons of gin Emily Eggers uses, it wouldn't be quite as tasty.

Considering that dirty martini pasta contains olive brine, blue cheese, salt, and sometimes anchovy, you might assume that the dish is pretty salty, but the salty ingredients are well balanced by the booze. Not only is the alcohol molecule similar to the sugar molecule, but lemon peel and olive brine contain some sweetness. Combining these ingredients results in a delicious and unique cocktail-inspired pasta — it's no surprise the recipe is being reshared across TikTok.