Smoky Martini (Variation)

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.

Get Our Recipes Sent To Your Inbox
Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Cocktail History

The Smoky Martini is a modern cocktail that is believed to have been created by Dale DeGroff, who claims to have been making it since the 1970s before publishing it in his book The Craft of the Cocktail in 2002. It introduces Islay Scotch’s peated aroma and flavor into the classic Gin Martini formula, which is traditionally made with dry gin, dry vermouth, and citrus. This version from Gin O’Clock: A Year of Ginspiration by Craft Gin Club also adds a hint of almond liqueur for even more complexity.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Gin: This is a spirit made with juniper berries, botanicals, and alcohol. We used The Botanist Islay Dry Gin because it features cool mint, juniper, citrus, and herbal notes that play well with fruity ingredients. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin.

Islay Scotch: This is a type of of Scotch whisky made in southern Scotland with with spices, alcohol, water, and malt or grain that has been dried with peat fires. We used Laphroig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky because it has a distinct smoky flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Wise Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky.

Dry Vermouth: This is a fortified wine made with grapes, sugar, botanicals, herbs, sugar, and alcohol. We used Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry because it has a light and airy flavor profile with notes of Alpine herbs. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth.

Amaretto Liqueur: This is a liqueur made in Italy with almonds, spices, and alcohol. We used Di Amore Amaretto Liqueur because it has a strong almond flavor and a smooth texture. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Amaretto Syrup in place of the amaretto liqueur.

Lemon Twist: This is is the peel of a lemon that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The Smoky Martini begins with strong peat aromas accented with lemon zest, starts out with a dry and slightly bitter taste, comes forward with a bit of sweetness as it sits in the mouth, and finishes with a strong earthy smokiness that lingers with a bit of nuttiness in the throat.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: This Martini isn’t for the faint of heart! Kendall found the Smoky Martini to be a little too spirituous for her; meanwhile, Alex, who loves Martinis and indulges in Scotch occasionally, enjoyed this interesting twist but will probably stick to his favorite 3:1 Gin Martini for now.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I thought this sounded like an interesting and unique recipe going in, and that’s as a staunch lover of Martinis as well as a general enjoyer of Scotch. What I got was definitely fascinating; it combined dry gin (We fittingly used Botanist Islay Dry Gin), dry vermouth’s slightly sweet notes, amaretto’s much sweeter and nutty notes, and Laphroaig’s dark smokiness. The gin taste was present but not as overwhelming as it would be in a normal martini, and the smoky Scotch was balanced surprisingly well by the amaretto, which I had thought would be out of place. Overall, this was a very intriguing martini variation. I enjoyed it, but I’ll probably stick with gin going forward.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“I can’t drink an entire dry Gin Martini quite yet, so I when I saw Scotch was added to the list of ingredients for this one, I knew it probably wouldn’t be for me. I still find Scotch to be similar in taste to smoky rubber, so this cocktail was just a bit too serious for my palate. Maybe someday!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Gin O’Clock: A Year of Ginspiration by Craft Cocktail Club.

Sale
Gin O’clock: A Year of Ginspiration
Gin O’clock: A Year of Ginspiration
Hardcover Book; Craft Gin Club (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages – 02/02/2021 (Publication Date) – HarperCollins (Publisher)
$18.39 Amazon Prime

AuthorGin O'Clock

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Gin
 1 oz Dry Vermouth
 ¼ oz Islay Scotch
 ¼ oz Amaretto Liqueur
 1 Lemon Twist

Method
1

Add gin, dry vermouth, Scotch, amaretto, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a martini glass.

4

Garnish with lemon twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Gin
 1 oz Dry Vermouth
 ¼ oz Islay Scotch
 ¼ oz Amaretto Liqueur
 1 Lemon Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, dry vermouth, Scotch, amaretto, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a martini glass.

4

Garnish with lemon twist.

Smoky Martini

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin, Escape Wise Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth, and Monin Premium Amaretto Syrup in place of the amaretto liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

More Scotch Cocktails

If you like this Scotch-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Flannel Shirt Cocktail Recipe

Flannel Shirt: A Scotch whisky cocktail made with apple cider, Amaro Averna, lemon juice, simple syrup, St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, Angostura Aromatic Bitters, and an orange peel

Penicillin Cocktail Recipe

Penicillin: A Scotch whisky cocktail made with lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger syrup, and candied ginger

Flying Scotsman Cocktail Recipe

Flying Scotsman: A Scotch whisky cocktail made with sweet vermouth, simple syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, orange zest, and an orange twist

Brown Derby Cocktail Recipe

Brown Derby: A bourbon cocktail made with grapefruit juice, honey, and a grapefruit twist

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-04-23.

Leave a comment