An Alternative Dirty Martini

The Keepsake Martini
Photo by Sang An

Courtesy Camille Cavan, bar and front-of-house manager, Quaintrelle, Portland, OR

Cocktail Inspiration: Sea Beans

These bright-green sprigs, also known as samphire, resemble tiny green beans soaked in sea-salty brine. In drinks, they’re most often used as a bright-hued garnish or accent. But in this cocktail, they offer a clean, green take on a dirty martini, usually presented in a vintage coupe.

Simplify It

Make the Martini with plain, non-infused gin and garnish with a sea bean or a caperberry for a similar briny accent.

“Dirty martinis cover up the delicate flavors of gin,” says Camille Cavan, manager of Quaintrelle, in Portland, Oregon. She says infusing the sea beans into gin “creates a natural, of-the-earth dirty martini.” Cavan uses sea beans from TwoXSea, a sustainable seafood purveyor in San Francisco.

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The Keepsake Martini

Keepsake Martini Ingredients
  • 2 ounces sea bean-infused Citadelle Gin de France (ingredients and directions below)
  • ¾ ounce Cocchi Americano
  • Lemon peel, for garnish
  • Sea bean, for garnish
Keepsake Martini Directions

In mixing glass filled with ice, combine gin and Cocchi Americano. Stir well, and strain into coupe glass. Twist lemon peel over drink to express oils. Garnish with lemon peel and sea bean.

Citadelle Gin de France Ingredients and Directions

In Mason jar or other wide-mouthed container with lid, lightly crush ⅓ cup fresh sea beans with muddler or wooden spoon. Add 1 cup Citadelle Gin and cover. Shake gently to mix. Set aside in cool, dark place for 1–2 days. Strain through cheesecloth twice, then funnel back into gin bottle. Makes enough for 4 cocktails.

Published on June 27, 2019
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She’s the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip., NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening and Cocktails With a Twist, released August 2019. Email:

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