A Scotch Martini (Yes, Really)

A new variation on the classic martini


We thought we’d seen pretty much every kind of possible martini variation — and then we recently heard about another one: a whisky martini.

Let’s just say the concoction, which replaces the classic’s vermouth with Scotch, piqued our curiosity. In sparing quantities, the spirit’s smoky and savory notes dance beautifully with gin’s herbal flavors.

In fact, this cocktail has a serious literary pedigree. In Norman Mailer’s 1991 novel Harlot’s Ghost, a character based on real-life CIA agent William King Harvey, who ran the Agency’s West Berlin operations in the ’50s, mixes a martini by rinsing the ice in a shaker with Scotch before adding the gin. Bartenders at the time, according to master mixologist and Liquor.com advisory board member Dale DeGroff, picked up on the recipe and started referring to it as the Berlin Station Chief.

"I am not sure whether Mailer’s research is so good that he would have wanted a drink that the character would have actually been drinking in 1956," says DeGroff, "but I was serving smoky martinis in the 1970s."

DeGroff’s version (pictured above) calls for two-and-a-half ounces of gin and just a quarter ounce of Scotch. If you like it, you’ll love all-star New York bartender Audrey Saunders’ Dreamy Dorini Smoking Martini, including vodka, ultra-peaty Laphroaig and a tiny splash of anise-flavored Pernod.

We can’t be certan whether it was a Cold War spy, a legendary author, or a clever mixologist who first put Scotch in a martini. But whomever it was, we’re raising a glass to you. Cheers!

Click here for recipes for the Smoking Martini and the Dreamy Dorini Smoking Martini.

This story was originally published at A Whisky Martini. For more stories like this, subscribe to Liquor.com for the best in all things cocktails and spirits. 


Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 1
3.36
Ratings50


Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage


Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
Feed Me Wine With Keith Beavers: Opening and Pouring

1 Comments

Gregory Mann's picture

I don't know what all the fuss is about. There is already an old time scotch martini, that's been around a long time. Called a Rob Roy, you substitute the gin with scotch, add vermouth, dry, sweet, or a combo for a "perfect." I drink them all the time with a lemon twist and two olives, up in a martini glass.

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human