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!


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.

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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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Always loved Dorothy Parker’s take on martinis
I like to drink Martinis
But two at the very most
For at three I’m under the table
and four, I’m under the host

My wife likes gin martinis with 2 oz gin, 1 oz vermouth (it’s fine as long as it’s refrigerated), with a jalapeno stuffed olive.


That is the best one of all time @kimfair.

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Dorothy Parker was incredible. Asked to use the word horticulture in a sentence she said “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.” I also love her poem Resume.
Razors pain you
Rivers are damp
Acid stains you
Drugs cause cramp
Guns aren’t lawful
Nooses give
Gas smells awful
Might as well live.


Yes, she was glib and wickedly funny! I’d never read Resume, or heard the horticulture one either.

My favorite remains “If you have nothing nice to say, come sit by me.” (Although apparently it’s not a Dorothy Parker quote! Don’t care, still gonna claim it is.)