Olives in martinis?

In a recently read mystery, the main character made a martini. She used three olives because she said that one isn’t enough, and two are unlucky. She also said that using vodka instead of gin should be a felony, but that’s a whole other discussion, I think. Not being a martini drinker, I’m wondering if this is a commonly held belief. Thanks!

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Google finds lots of hits on suggestions that even numbers of olives are bad luck. Perhaps needless to say, none that I glanced at suggest a reason or origin for this. So, it may just be a case of one website copying what it has read on another website, which copied what it read on…

That’s how urban myths are formed.

If you want my take on this, I suspect the International Olive Marketing Company started this rumour in the 1920s, working on the basis that when the myth took hold, they would sell more olives. One is obviously not enough and five is excessive, hence a happy medium of three.

Of course, it you really want a happy medium, make sure you give her/him a double.


My just opinion, whether in a glass or on a plate - even numbers should be avoided.

I prefer gin over vodka martinis and the only vermouth is glancing at it from across the room.


I’d never heard about the taboo on just 2 olives in a ‘tini - learn something new all the time!

However, it did remind me of the James Thurber quote, which always makes me laugh: “One martini is alright. Two is too many. Three is not enough.” :cocktail::cocktail::cocktail:

Agree on even numbers otherwise - I group things in odd numbers too - food on the plate, plants, decorative items, and all such.

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Another quote: I’ve only had tee martoonies.

That’s funny @bcc.

I saw a pack of cocktail napkins awhile back that showed a retro woman in a bathing suit, saying she was going to slip
into a nice dry martini. :sunglasses:

I’m one of those who much prefers lemon zest twist as opposed to olives. Really brings a martini together. Same with a Manhattan, cherries can ruin it, and you can go with lemon or orange zest twist.

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Never heard of that before, but it goes in line with what I do. I either have one olive (dropped at the bottom of the glass) or three (on a skewer). I’ve always been a big olive guy, but lately have been more in the mood for a lemon twist.

It’s hard to go amiss with lemon or lime rind with gin. Nice and refreshing.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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