The Story Behind The Duchess Martini

“The Duchess” is a Nordic-inspired Martini riff developed by Lydia Mcluen, bar manager of Dóttir, a Scandinavian-style bar and restaurant located inside Portland, Ore.'s newly opened Kex Hotel.

To make this Martini variant match its Icelandic-inspired environs, Mcluen uses Brennivin Aquavit, an Icelandic acquavit with rich notes of caraway. She pairs it with her favorite vermouth, Carpano Bianco. For a touch of salinity, she adds Lustau Fino Sherry.

Apparently, this drink didn’t take much R&D: While developing the menu for Dóttir, Mcluen says about the Duchess, "I made it, tried it, and thought it was perfect as is.”

Skál to that.


  • 1 ½ ounces Brennivin Aquavit
  • 1 ounce Carpano Bianco Vermouth
  • ¼ ounce Lustau Fino Sherry


  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir.
  2. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.
  3. Garnish with an orange twist.

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Updated: 2022-03-21

The Duchess Martini Recipe