Gibson martinis may never be the same again!  My Easy Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onions are another fabulous cocktail garnish as part of my How to Stock the Ultimate Holiday Bar Cart – Part One and How to Stock the Ultimate Holiday Bar Cart – Two Part series.

cocktail onions in bowl

If you’ve never tasted the flavorful cocktail that is the classic gin martini, you’re in for a huge treat!  Instead of an olive or lemon twist, the Classic Gibson martini uses a cocktail onion, or three. (never an even number, ’cause that’s bad luck!)  



Such a simple change of cocktail garnish brings a very different undertone to the Gibson martini.

A cocktail onion transforms the traditional briny olive flavor to an earthy, subtle oniony flavor instead.  It’s quite sublime when served perfectly shaken into a crisply chilled cocktail.

cocktail onions in bowl

Of course, replacing your olive with an onion is also delightful in a vodka martini as well.

Now that you’ve got all the information at your fingertips to stock the ultimate holiday bar cart for yourself, you can have lots of fun experimenting with the fun cocktail garnishes I’ve included in the two-part ultimate holiday bar cart series.



In case you’ve missed the first post in this two-part series, here are the links for two of the wonderful cocktail garnish recipes I included:  Perfectly Pickled Asparagus – Fabulous for Charcuterie, Antipasto or Cocktail Garnish and Easy Lemony Marinated Olives.  I hope you have a chance to try them out at your next holiday gathering.lemony marinated olives

Here’s the recipe for a lovely Classic Gibson Martini using my Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onions. 

Otherwise, keep it pure, simple and absolutely fabulous!


CLASSIC GIBSON MARTINI w/Easy Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onion Cocktail Garnish

2 1/2 ounces Gin (I like Blue Sapphire or Tanqueray)

1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth

1 or 3 Easy Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onions

gibson martini vermouth spike cocktail onions


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add gin and vermouth, cover and shake well to mix and chill cocktail
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass
  • Garnish with 1 or 3 cocktail onions (odd #)



You definitely want to try to hand-pick your onions when possible.  If you look into a bin of loose pearl onions, you’ll see a large variation in sizes. 

Try to choose onions that are on the small side, but are large enough to skewer on a toothpick as pictured above.  You’re aiming for conformity so they pickle evenly and look great in your cocktail glasses.

Now you must realize that you won’t be “cooking” the onions in the pickling brine.  You’re merely giving them a hot brine to allow them to pickle quickly and evenly. 

pearl onions on burlap

This is truly an easy and simple recipe for a fabulous cocktail garnish on your holiday bar cart. 

Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onions take all of 10 minutes to whip up and stow away in your refrigerator to be used at a moment’s notice. 

The spiked cocktail onions need at least 12 hours to pickle and chill before use, so plan your schedule accordingly. 



Print out the recipe card below and try these soon!  Start to make all the creative garnishes in the How to Stock The Ultimate Holiday Bar Cart posts now.

When the holidays roll around, you’ll have all these incredible “homemade touches” you can add to your holiday gathering beverage offerings.  What an incredible hostess you are!


ultimate holiday bar cart guide

Want your own ULTIMATE HOLIDAY BAR CART GUIDE, but you’re not on our list yet?

big batch bloody mary mix with garnishesWhy not join in on the fun!

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gibson martini vermouth spike cocktail onions

Martini Magic - EasyEasy Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onions

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes

If you've never tasted the flavorful cocktail that is the classic gin martini, you're in for a huge treat!  Instead of an olive or lemon twist, the Classic Gibson martini uses a cocktail onion, or three. (never an even number, 'cause that's bad luck!) My Easy Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onions are a fabulous addition to your Ultimate Holiday Bar Cart cocktail garnishes!


  • 20 whole mixed color peppercorns
  • 1 - 3 inch sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups dry vermouth
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 ounces raw white pearl onions, peeled


Using a sterilized quart mason jar with lid, place peppercorns, rosemary and thyme inside.

In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the vermouth, vinegar, sugar, salt and water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Add the onions to the simmering pickling liquid and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to your prepared jar and seal with the lid. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 12 hours before use.


When picking your onions, try to choose smaller and consistent sized ones. They just need to be large enough to thread on a toothpick without splitting, but small enough to use 3 in your cocktails. Big help I am!

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 109Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 587mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 0gSugar 10gProtein 1g

The nutritional calorie count does not take into account the liquid remaining after onions are consumed.

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