Aspall Cyder - Cider and Vinegar

Pickled Pearl Onions (and a Gibson Martini)

Makes one 500ml jar

15 minutes

Cooking time
5 minutes

Tiny pearl onions are lightly pickled for an elegant cocktail garnish with real bite. Their classic use is in the Gibson martini, where a little of the brine is added to the drink too. Both the onions and the brine can also be very useful in the kitchen, for adding to a casserole or the like.
  1. Peel the onions by immersing them in a bowl of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, then trim off the tops and bottoms and the skins should slide off easily. Set the peeled onions aside. 
  2. Put all the ingredients except the onions and the vermouth into a pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then add the onions to the pan for 1 minute. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Add the vermouth and transfer it all to the prepared jar. Seal and store in the fridge. The onions will be ready to use in a week and will keep for months in the fridge. 
  3. To make the Gibson martini, fill a cocktail tin (or tall glass or jug) with lots of ice. Pour over the gin, vermouth and the brine from the jar of cocktail onions. Stir over the ice for a minute, then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a cocktail onion dropped into the glass, or three on a cocktail stick. 

This recipe can also be found in The Vinegar Cupboard by Angela Clutton (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26). Photography © Polly Webster.