A party has got to have bits to pick at, and what could be better than these? I got the idea of Martini Olives (without the Martinis) from a colleague of mine from the New York Times, Denise Landis, from her lovely book, Dinner For Eight. I'm afraid mine are a slightly cut-back version, but I shouldn't apologise for that, as I don't feel ashamed. These aren't just great to have at a party, they're mighty fine to stash in jars and give as presents.
4 (8-ounce) jars pimento-stuffed green olives, this gives 4 cups
1/4 cup gin (or vodka if you prefer)
1 tablespoon vermouth
1 teaspoon chili oil
Open the jars and drain the olives, putting them into a bowl. Pour in the gin, vermouth and chili oil and give them a stir. Leave to steep for half an hour or so while you get ready for your party. You can put any leftover olives in a jar with a lid for another couple of days, or indeed longer though it's doubtful that will arise.