Gin Marinated Olives

Hot, gin marinated olives. I used big, green Castelvetranos tossed with a mixture of gin and olive oil, big swatches of lemon peel, lots of herbs. Feta cubes were the finishing touch.

Gin Marinated Olives

You're looking at a dish of *gin* marinated olives. I've been on a Castelvetrano olive bender for the better part of the summer. They're plump, round Sicilian olives with vivid, tight, glossy, green flesh. Harvested young, these olives are lightly brined, with a buttery texture - even more so when warm. I promise you, they're worth tracking down. We had Josey and his girlfriend fiancé(!) Cathy over for a mid-week dinner the other night, and I decided to make this at the last minute. I tossed the Castelvetranos with a mixture of gin and olive oil, added big swatches of lemon peel and lots of herbs, then baked it all for a stretch. Feta cubes were the finishing touch. You can absolutely make this with other varietals of olives as well, if Castelvetranos are tough to come by where you live.

Close-up photo of ingredients for marinated olive in a metal bowl
Warm/hot olives continue to be one my favorite appetizers. In part, because they're flexible, interesting and delicious. And, in part, because you can take the accents, herbs, and flavors in so many different directions. Fennel seeds and orange peel is another angle I often go....other ideas!? xo -h
Marinated olives in a baking dish on a counter

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Gin Marinated Olives

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Save the brine from the olives to make vinaigrettes, cocktails, or use as a drizzle. I used St. George Spirits Botanivore Gin here.

  • 12 ounces drained, rinsed green olives (pref. Castelvetrano)
  • 2 serrano peppers, halved
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, thinly sliced
  • slivered peel of one lemon
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup gin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a few sprigs of dried thyme, or equivalent
  • 1/4 cup of cubed feta cheese
  1. Heat the oven to 350F / 180C, with a rack in the center. In a baking dish, just large enough to arrange the olives in a single layer, combine them with the peppers, garlic, lemon peel, olive oil, gin, oregano, and thyme. Give a good toss.

  2. Bake for about 30 minutes, carefully jostling once or twice along the way. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the feta cubes, and let cool for a few minutes before serving.


Serves 4-6.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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These sound awesome! We do this with olives using fennel seeds and orange peels like you mentioned, but then cut out the pits and smash them up to put over goat cheese on a bruschetta of sorts. I can't wait to try this recipe :)


Castelvetrano are one of my favorite types of olive. Buttery goodness. Since I found them in my local co-op (can you believe in small town Midwest), I try to put them in as many dishes as I can. I roast them with chicken, sunchokes, garlic, thyme (or rosemary or something else on hand), lemon zest, white wine, olive oil, a handful of picholine olives with the Castelvetrano and pinch of both pimenton and crushed pepper. I'm also a fan of marinating them with some herbs and feta but I haven't tried gin or serrano. Sounds perfect!


These are some of my favourite olives. The texture is amazing. We randomly found a huge jar of them at Costco of all places. Unfortunately they were pitted (why?!?) and a little too salty, so we switched out some of the brine for fresh water which definitely helped and they are really good for throwing in a quick sauce for pasta.


Two of my favorite things...gin and those big bright green olives. Thanks so much for this recipe.


Hi, Heidi... I can't wait to try these! My husband will flip! Quick question, though...Do you serve these as an appetizer? Side? Alone or with bread? I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to fit these into a meal; I'm pretty sure that they would steal the show! Thanks!

HS: Hi Molly, we just had them standing around over drinks before dinner. A little snack..


In gin?! wow! Need to try it.

Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today

lol!lol!lol! omg I clicked over to Josie's site and his butt post was the 2nd big laugh I've had today! and it's only 10 am! It'll be a good day. I've had a jar of these olives for a couple months - now I know what to do with them besides eat straight from jar. Thanks!


Crazy about these!!

Marie @ Little Kitchie

What a great snack to come home to! I love gin in any shape or form. I bet you could use leftover marinated olives in the bottom of a martini!


WOW, this looks absolutely amazing! I love olives, and this is a great starter for a casual dinner with friends!

Giulietta | Alterkitchen

Oh, i love that one! Olives + Gin, this what i like. Harriet you have right, the possibilities with marinated olives is huge - and all of them probably taste good.

Donald @ Tea Time

Oh yes! Love, love, love sicilian green olives AND Gin. This one is definitely getting a run in my little kitchen.


I'd never thought to bake Olives. What an amazing idea. I like to marinate mine in Caraway Seeds, Lemon Zest and a touch of Coriander- i'll absolutely be trying Gin next time! Thanks lovely xx


Your recipes are always simple to make but executed with such a level of sophistication. You truly understand the flavors you are developing and I admire that because it is hard to come by. Simply put, you are amazing, and so are these olives!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

Hmmm, I love olives & I love gin! These sound delicious & I think they would be the perfect thing to take to a Maui beach bbq sunset dinner. Thanks for sharing!


I love this! I haven't tried making these with gin before, but now I really want to! I usually add olive oil, lemon peel, and whole cloves of garlic before putting them in the oven, and when they come out i add chopped fresh herbs--usually parsley but sometimes coriander or za'atar (or a mix).

Stephanie @ Eat My Tortes

oh, gosh, i can taste these right through the screen! and yes, double yes, on the castelvetranos. their buttery-ness is beyond the pale. and fennel seeds and orange peel? my name's written all over that! thanks, heidi. and congrats to josey and cathy!


Castelevetranos are my current favorites olives! We love serving warm olives for cocktails. Guests are always surprised by them. My current favorite combo is olives, caperberries, orange slices, and small dried chiles, and lots of fruity olive oil. But, I look forward to adding gin to my next batch!


My favourite pizza place does an appetiser of mixed olives (including Castelvetrano and teeny baby Kalamata olives) marinated with coriander seeds, fresh rosemary and garlic. It's so good - we get it every time. I love the concept of lemon peel and the dried herbs. The possibilities with marinated olives are so many, and all are exciting!


Hmmm, these sound great -- I just love Castelvetrano olives, too. The flavor is like a serious upgrade from those canned, pitted black olives I used to stick on my fingertips when I was a kid.

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

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