Restaurant: The Pearl, Columbus
Creator: Kelsey Corcoran
Inspiration: “A dirty martini is something I never really cared for. Growing up my grandmother used a lot of Mediterranean flavors and creating a martini with kalamata olives was definitely nostalgic.”
Key Ingredients: Watershed Four Peel Gin infused with kalamata olives, caramelized orange, juniper berry and black peppercorn; Dolin Blanc and a dirty dill salt rim. Kalamata garnish.
What the Judges Said: Pouring olive brine into a martini is ingenious for its simplicity. That we get. But if you want to up your game, take a cue from Ms. Corcoran, who has developed a more sophisticated and, in our opinion, eye-opening version of a dirty martini. Compared to the pedestrian Spanish olives that clutter grocery store shelves, the kalamata olive is a rock star, and she employs these tasty beauties for a weeklong dip in a pool of gin. A dirty salt rim may be gilding the lily, but didn’t we agree upfront to get nasty?