The Double Dirty Detroit is not your average cocktail. This bold concoction throws caution to the wind, embracing a work of savory, briny, and umami flavors. At its core lies vodka, its neutrality a canvas for the starring act: a potent double dose of brine. Pickle juice and olive brine join forces, creating a depth of flavor unlike any other. A touch of vermouth adds complexity, while the iconic garnish, a pickle spear or olive, delivers a visual and flavorful punch. This is not a drink for the faint of heart, but for those who crave an adventure for their taste buds, the Double Dirty Detroit is an unforgettable experience.

Dirty Detroit Drink

Detroit, the Motor City, pulsates with a unique energy. Its history is woven with tales of innovation, resilience, and a touch of grit. This spirit extends beyond its iconic automotive industry, finding its way into the city’s vibrant culture, and even its cocktails. Enter the Dirty Detroit, a drink that embodies the city’s essence in a glass.

A Spicy Twist on a Classic

While not an official “official” cocktail, the Dirty Detroit has become a beloved staple in Detroit’s bar scene. It takes inspiration from the classic Dirty Martini, but with a distinct Detroit twist. The key difference lies in the brine used. Instead of the typical olive brine, a splash of McClure’s Spicy Pickle Brine adds a kick of heat and tang, reflecting the city’s bold and unapologetic nature.

The Birth of a Legend

The exact origin of the Dirty Detroit is shrouded in some mystery, adding to its mystique. However, one widely attributed tale credits Riffino Valentine, a Detroit entrepreneur and founder of Valentine Vodka. Legend has it that Valentine, noticing the popularity of spicy pickle spears in local bars, decided to incorporate the flavor into his signature cocktail. He swapped the olive brine for McClure’s spicy pickle brine, creating a drink that resonated with Detroiters’ palates.

More than Just a Cocktail

The Dirty Detroit transcends being just a beverage. It’s a symbol of Detroit’s ingenuity and resourcefulness. The use of locally-sourced McClure’s pickle brine, a Detroit staple, adds a layer of authenticity and celebrates the city’s entrepreneurial spirit. The drink’s bold and spicy flavor reflects the city’s unwavering character, its ability to weather challenges and emerge stronger.

Variations on a Theme

The beauty of the Dirty Detroit lies in its adaptability. While the core elements remain – vodka, dry vermouth, and McClure’s spicy pickle brine – bartenders across Detroit have added their own creative twists. Some experiment with different vodkas, opting for infused varieties like dill or horseradish, to further enhance the savory notes. Others incorporate garnishes like a pickled pearl onion or a spicy olive, adding visual interest and complementing the drink’s flavor profile.

Making Your Own Dirty Detroit Drink

Ready to experience the taste of Detroit? Here’s a classic recipe for you to try at home:


  • 2 oz Vodka (preferably local)
  • ½ oz Dry Vermouth
  • Splash of McClure’s Spicy Pickle Brine
  • Ice
  • Garnish: Pickle spear, olive, or pickled pearl onion (optional)


1. Fill a shaker with ice.

2. Add vodka, dry vermouth, and pickle brine to the shaker.

3. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

4. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

5. Garnish with your chosen option (optional).


1. Adjust the amount of pickle brine to your desired level of spice.

2. Experiment with different vodkas to find your favorite flavor combination.

3. Get creative with garnishes!

Double Dirty Detroit Drink

The world of cocktails boasts a diverse array of flavors, from the sweet and fruity to the smoky and complex. But for those seeking a unique and adventurous experience, the Double Dirty Detroit stands out as a bold and flavorful concoction. This drink isn’t for the faint of heart, but for those who appreciate a savory and briny punch, it’s a true revelation.

Origins and Inspiration

The exact origin of the Double Dirty Detroit remains shrouded in mystery. Some believe it emerged in Detroit’s vibrant bar scene, inspired by the city’s love for all things “dirty” (think Coney Island hot dogs and deep-dish pizza). Others speculate it’s a playful spin on the classic Dirty Martini, with a Detroit twist. Regardless of its origin story, the Double Dirty Detroit has carved its own niche in the cocktail world, captivating adventurous drinkers with its unique combination of flavors.

Deconstructing the Double Dirty Detroit

The core ingredients of this drink are relatively simple:

Vodka: The base spirit, typically a neutral vodka that allows the other flavors to shine.

Pickle juice: The star of the show, adding a briny, tangy, and umami depth to the drink.

Olive brine: Enhances the savory profile and adds a touch of saltiness.

Vermouth (optional): A small amount of dry vermouth can add a touch of complexity and dryness.

Garnish: Typically a pickle spear or olive, adding a visual and flavorful element.

Crafting the Perfect Double Dirty Detroit

While seemingly straightforward, creating a well-balanced Double Dirty Detroit requires attention to detail and proper technique. Here’s a step-by-step guide:


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Pickle juice
  • ½ oz Olive brine
  • ¼ oz Dry vermouth (optional)
  • Pickle spear or olive for garnish


Chill your glass: Use a martini glass and fill it with ice. Let it sit for a few minutes to ensure the glass is adequately chilled.

Discard the ice: Empty the ice water from the chilled glass.

Combine the liquids: In a separate mixing glass filled with ice, combine vodka, pickle juice, olive brine, and optional vermouth.

Stir, don’t shake: Unlike many cocktails, the Double Dirty Detroit benefits from gentle stirring. This helps chill the drink and dilute it slightly without creating excessive foam.

Strain and serve: Strain the mixture into the chilled martini glass, discarding the ice from the mixing glass.

Garnish: Add a pickle spear or olive for visual appeal and an extra burst of flavor.

Tips and Variations

Experiment with vodka: While a neutral vodka is often preferred, you can explore using flavored vodkas like dill or pickle-infused varieties to further enhance the briny notes.

Adjust the brine ratio: The amount of pickle juice and olive brine can be adjusted to your taste preference. Mix it 1:1 ratio and regulate accordingly.

Add a spicy kick: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, consider adding a dash of hot sauce or sriracha to the mix.

Rim the glass: For an extra layer of flavor, rim the martini glass with a mixture of celery salt and black pepper before adding the drink.

Beyond the Drink

The Double Dirty Detroit isn’t just a cocktail; it’s an experience. It’s a conversation starter, a challenge for the taste buds, and a testament to the creative spirit of the cocktail world. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or simply looking for something new and exciting, the Double Dirty Detroit is worth a try.

Is Detroit Water Safe to Drink?

Detroit’s tap water meets all federal and state safety standards. However, lead pipes in some homes can leach lead into the water. The city recommends testing your water for lead and using a filter if necessary. While technically safe, concerns remain due to potential lead contamination from aging infrastructure.

Does Detroit have good Drinking Water?

While Detroit’s tap water meets federal and state safety standards, concerns exist. Lead pipes can contaminate individual homes, and recent reports indicate trace amounts of other contaminants. While technically safe, using a filter or bottled water for peace of mind might be advisable.


So, if you’re seeking a cocktail that pushes boundaries and leaves a lasting impression, the Double Dirty Detroit awaits. Grab your shaker, gather your courage, and embark on a taste bud expedition unlike any other. Remember, this drink isn’t for the meek, but for those who appreciate a bold and unforgettable flavor adventure.