The Alaska is another loose interpretation of a martini which swaps vermouth for yellow Chartreuse, an herbal liqueur made by monks in France.
It first appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, where there is a helpful explanation of where the name originates: “So far as can be ascertained this delectable potion is NOT the staple diet of the Esquimaux. It was probably first thought of in South Carolina – hence its name.”
David A. Embury, in his book “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks“, created a version of the Alaska called the “Nome”, which dials back the yellow Chartreuse and has some Fino sherry added. I’ve also seen recipes calling for orange bitters to be added, which is the option I’ve chosen.
Be warned, the Alaska is a delicious but not for the faint-hearted. It has a high ABV, (yellow Chartreuse is 40%) and it’s very sweet.
Ingredients for an Alaska
45ml gin (I used Portobello Road)
15ml yellow Chartreuse
dash of orange bitters
Stir ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass for 40-50 seconds. Double strain into a chilled glass.