The Smoky Martini

As you guys can obviously tell by now, I am on a quest to find the best martini. I won’t be able to try every different kind, of course, but if I have the ingredients, I will try it. I still have a couple more that I will be trying over the next couple of days, but tonight, I went for an outlier: the Smoky Martini, not to be confused with a Smokey Martini.

From the name alone, I thought perhaps it had some liquid smoke in it, or maybe a piece of beef jerky for garnish. But nope, it does one simple switch with the standard dry martini: it substitutes scotch for French vermouth. Just combine in a glass and stir well:

  • 2.5 oz. gin
  • splash of scotch
  • lemon peel for garnish

Before I get into the taste, I feel that a disclaimer is in order. Scotch and I have a love/hate relationship. I love the idea of it, for it is the quintessential man’s drink, right alongside bourbon. I love it that there’s so many grades of it; I love it that people have scotch tastings. I love everything about scotch, in fact, except actually drinking it. For me to enjoy scotch by itself, it must be a very good scotch. See my failed attempt at the Bobby Burns and the two bottles of partially used scotch in my cabinet, and you know what I mean.

I’m not that way only with scotch, however. I’m that way with all liquors. I don’t exactly like them plain; that’s why I like cocktails, and this isn’t a blog about drinking bourbon. It must be a very good gin for me to enjoy it straight, just as it must be a very good vodka, bourbon, anejo rum, or anejo tequila for me to have a glass neat. Still, I only want one shot.

So here I am with the Smoky Martini, a lot of gin with a little scotch. Thank goodness they’re both good liquors, because otherwise, I wouldn’t be drinking this right now. As it is, I’m halfway through, and it’s getting better with each sip. It started out way too strong, but now, it’s okay. It still burns the back of my throat a little, but it’s a pleasant burn. The interesting thing about this drink is that the scotch actually comes through on the back end. It adds a scent to the gin and gives it an interesting endnote.

Now if I can only infuse some vodka and go for a bacon martini

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