Smokey Martini Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Smokey Martini Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:22

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Smokey Martini is a modern twist on the classic Martini, which dates back to the late 19th century. This variation is believed to have been created in the early 2000s, as bartenders began experimenting with different flavors and techniques to elevate the traditional Martini. The Smokey Martini is especially popular among fans of peaty, smoky Scotch whiskies and those who enjoy a more complex, robust cocktail experience.

How Smokey Martini Tastes?

The Smokey Martini has a bold, complex flavor profile, with a perfect balance of smoky, savory, and slightly bitter notes. The smokiness from the Scotch whisky is the star of the show, while the dry vermouth adds a subtle herbal undertone. The olive brine brings a touch of saltiness, enhancing the overall depth and richness of the cocktail.

Interesting facts about Smokey Martini

  • The Smokey Martini is sometimes referred to as a 'Scotch Martini' or 'Islay Martini', as it typically features a peaty Scotch whisky from the Islay region of Scotland.
  • The classic garnish for a Smokey Martini is a green olive, which complements the smoky, salty flavors of the cocktail.
  • The Smokey Martini is typically stirred, not shaken, to ensure a silky, smooth texture and to prevent over-dilution.


Scotch whisky (preferably peaty)

2 oz of peaty Scotch whisky add a pronounced smoky flavor that truly defines the character of a Smokey Martini. Cutting back on the Scotch will make the cocktail less bold, whereas too much may overpower the other flavors. If peaty Scotch isn't your cup of tea—or should I say, dram of whisky—a lighter single malt or blended Scotch could be used, but then you'd have to call it just a 'Hint of Smoke' Martini.

Mary Mitkina

Dry vermouth

0.5 oz of dry vermouth brings a touch of herbal complexity and balances out the strong peaty flavor. Less vermouth makes for a really whisky-forward drink, more and it might turn into a vermouth-tasting session! No vermouth at all and you've lost the 'Martini' aspect altogether. If you're feeling adventurous, try a different brand or style of vermouth to tweak the botanicals.

Mary Mitkina

Olive brine

0.25 oz might not sound like much, but olive brine is the secret agent here – it adds that salty, briny quality that plays so well with the smoky Scotch. If omitted, you'll miss out on complexity and that savory undertone. Add too much and you'll be fishing in salty waters. Swapping brine for something like a dash of saline solution could work, but then the olive flavor takes a backseat.

Alex Green

Green olive

The lone green olive is more than a garnish; it's a visual cue and a final, edible touch of saltiness and texture. No olive? The drink will still be sophisticated, but you’ll miss out on the full experience. Try swapping it with a cocktail onion for a 'Smokey Gibson', if olives aren't your thing.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Smokey Martini Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of peaty Scotch whisky, 0.5 oz of dry vermouth, and 0.25 oz of olive brine to the mixing glass.
  3. Stir the mixture gently for 20-30 seconds, until well-chilled and diluted.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled Martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a green olive on a cocktail pick.

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality, peaty Scotch whisky for the best flavor.
  • Stir gently to avoid over-dilution.
  • Chill your Martini glass before serving for the best experience.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Charcuterie: A selection of smoked meats could complement the smoky essence of the Scotch whisky.
  • Cheese: Strong, mature cheeses like Stilton or Gouda provide a robust flavor that stands up against the Smokey Martini.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Charred or roasted vegetables echo the smokiness in the cocktail, creating a harmonious dining experience.

Drink Pairings

  • Mineral Water: A refreshing palate cleanser between sips.
  • Stout Beer: The rich, malty profile pairs well with the depth of the cocktail.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Smokey Martini

  • Scotch whisky: Can be replaced with any other type of smoky whisky.
  • Dry vermouth: Can be replaced with sweet vermouth for a slightly sweeter cocktail.
  • Olive brine: Can be replaced with lemon juice for a more citrusy flavor.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Smokey Gibson

Replace the olive with a cocktail onion to create a classic variation known as the Smokey Gibson. This swap brings a slightly sweeter, tangier element while still complementing the smokiness of the cocktail.

Islay Martini

Use a particularly peaty Islay Scotch for an intense smoky flavor. Complement this with a rinse of an Islay Scotch in the glass before pouring the cocktail to amplify the smokiness.

Maple Smoke Martini

Add a 0.25 oz of maple syrup to enhance the cocktail's sweetness and give it a richer mouthfeel. Substitute the olive for a slice of crispy bacon to create a breakfast-inspired variant that's both smoky and slightly sweet.

In case you forgot basics how to make Smokey Martini

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Smokey Martini

What is the origin of the term 'martini'?

The term 'martini' is believed to have originated from the Martini & Rossi brand of vermouth, which was popular in the late 19th century.

What is the difference between shaken and stirred cocktails?

Shaking a cocktail typically makes it colder and more diluted than stirring. It also helps to mix the ingredients thoroughly and quickly. Stirring, on the other hand, is usually preferred for spirit-forward cocktails as it results in a smoother and less cloudy drink.

How do I choose a good Scotch whisky for this cocktail?

Choosing a good Scotch whisky depends largely on personal preference. However, for a Smokey Martini, a peaty Scotch from the Islay region of Scotland is typically preferred due to its smoky flavour. Choose a Scotch that you'd enjoy drinking neat, as the flavour will shine through in the cocktail.

What is the proper way to store Scotch whisky?

Scotch whisky should be stored upright in a cool, dark place. Make sure the bottle is securely closed to prevent any air from getting in.

Are there any other garnishes I can use for a Smokey Martini?

While a green olive is the classic garnish, you can play around with other options such as a twist of lemon peel, a sprig of fresh herbs or even a cocktail onion.

Can I make a Smokey Martini without alcohol?

Alcohol-free versions of the Smokey Martini can be made using non-alcoholic substitutes for whisky and vermouth. However, the signature smoky flavour may be difficult to replicate.

More similar recipes to Smokey Martini!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe