A Sydney Bartender is Turning a Riverland Olive Company's Excess Brine into Cocktail Syrups

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, but what do you do with a surplus of olives?

After draining jars of olives to use the brine for dirty martini cocktails, Sydney bartender Jason Crawley said he was left with dried up olives.

To solve this problem, the Simple Syrup co-founder contacted olive companies and farmers, asking for their surplus brine so he could create his own cocktail syrup.

"There was a product in the US I had heard of and tasted many years ago," Mr Crawley said.

"I'd never really considered doing this in Australia until I saw the appetite firsthand for dirty martinis.”

Mr Crawley said he and his partner Caroline Jones sent more than 100 emails.

"The response rate was about 50–50," he said.

"Some of them we didn't hear back from, and some of them thought we were completely [absurd].”

Mr Crawley said he and Ms Jones "systematically sampled" about 24 different brines with half a dozen dry London-style gins.

The pair selected a green manzanilla brine from the award-winning South Australian company Viva Olives.

"Based on my 30 years in the industry, I took a leap of faith," Mr Crawley said.

"And it seems to be working really well.”

An under-utilised product brings extra revenue Viva Olives operations manager Darren McKenzie said he thought Mr Crawley's request for olive brine was "a little strange". More