how to make a kentucky colonel martini drink: A variation of the bobby burns martini

The Kentucky Colonel is variation of the much more popular Bobby Burns cocktail. The Bobby Burns cocktail is a cocktail named after the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. It uses Scotch Whisky as its base ingredient in true Scottish tradition.

I initially found this recipe in The Essential Cocktail book by Dale Degroff. The drink was an original house cocktail at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles. The drink originally used the private label Jim Beam bourbon as its base spirit. You could use any bourbon of your choice for this drink.

The name of the drink is a reference to the base spirit that is used, the Kentucky Bourbon. The other ingredient of the drink, Benedictine is a french herbal liqueur dating back to early 16th century. The most popular brand of Benedictine liqueur is D.O.M.


  • 3 shots of Bourbon
  • 1 shot of Benedictine
  • Couple of dashes of Orange bitters


  1. Add some ice cubes into a martini shaker
  2. Add 3 shots of the bourbon into the shaker
  3. Add a shot of the Benedictine liqueur
  4. Shake the contents of the shaker well
  5. Add couple of dashes of orange bitters into a chilled martini glass
  6. Swirl the bitters around to evenly coat the side of the glass
  7. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass
Kentucky Colonel Cocktail Martini

Variations and Similar Drinks

  • Bobby Burns Martini: The original recipe which uses Scotch Whisky and Italian sweet vermouth as the ingredients, in addition to the Benedictine.

Notes and Tips

  • The original recipe calls for the ingredients to be stirred rather than shaken. You could do that instead of swirling the bitters which I prefer.
  • The original recipe called for more of a 2.5:1 ratio rather than the 3:1 ratio in this recipe.
  • Some recipes call for the drink to be garnished with a lemon peel, but the original recipe was served without a garnish.
  • The drink can also be served in a rocks glass over ice, instead of a martini glass.