It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Smoked Manhattan

smoked manhattan
It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Smoked Manhattan
Our weekly recommendation.

Sometimes I like to make drinks that don’t involve 13 ingredients, including various homemade liquors. This one’s not quite a standard Manhattan, but just replacing a scant half ounce of the American whiskey with peaty scotch takes it to a whole different place without veering too far from how the drink is supposed to taste.

Smokey scotch is an acquired taste, and this is actually a pretty good way to acquire it. Too often people go right for trying to sip a dram of it neat, and then get overwhelmed and turned off. Making cocktails with a splash of smoke lets you get used to the flavor more gradually.

Half an ounce doesn’t sound like much, but it brings plenty of smoke to the party, which is just fine by me! If you think that’s going to be too much, there’s no harm in dropping down to a quarter ounce or even just a barspoon full.

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass over ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.Garnish with a Luxardo marachino cherry.

This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts.

Christopher Buecheler is a novelist, a web developer, an award-winning amateur mixologist, a brewer, a guitarist, a drummer, and an NBA enthusiast. He lives a semi-nomadic life with his wife and two cats, currently residing in Providence, RI. You can learn more at his website,


  • Reply March 28, 2014

    Jon Helmkamp

    Good lord, I’ve never heard of that combination. This is so up my alley and sounds incredible. Making this tonight. Thanks!

  • Reply April 1, 2014

    Robert Herbert

    rob roy…

    • The Rob Roy’s a fine drink, but this is not that drink. Scotch forms the basis there, instead of being used as an accent note in a drink that still tastes predominantly of corn-based bourbon. Also honestly I wouldn’t use a smokey scotch for a Rob Roy — that much smoke is likely to overwhelm the subtleties of the vermouth and bitters.

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