Grilled Cheese Martinis

Beecher's, a Seattle cheese (and cheese-stuff) shop that's opened a branch in NYC, makes a Grilled Cheese Martini that sounds improbably delicious:
Now, this is no cop out "grilled cheese martini" that just shoves a wedge of sandwich on the rim of a martini glass and calls it a day. We're talking about vodka that has literally been infused with a grilled cheese sandwich (using Beecher's signature cheese, of course). If you're feeling a little apprehensive about the idea, you're not alone — general manager Sarah Jennerjahn had a similar reaction when chef-owner Kurt Dammeier first presented her with the idea. But for Dammeier the concept was seemingly pretty straightforward. "Well, just grill up a couple of our Flagship sandwiches until they are perfectly ready to eat and then put them in a container and pour vodka over them," he explained to her.

Fast-forward to discovering the perfect recipe for a 24-hour infusion, double-filtering the mixture through cheese cloth (how appropriate), and that, says Jennerjahn, is when the fun began. From there crafting the drink was a collaborative effort. Someone mentions tomatoes and bartender Ksenia Stillwell chimes in with the suggestion to make a tomato juice ice cube. How about adding something herbal to the flavor profile? Stillwell has the solution again, recommending muddled basil. And for the finishing touch, balsamic reduction on the rim, Jennerjahn's idea. Wait — make that almost finishing touch. Coming full circle, the last piece of the puzzle was provided by Dammeier, who thought to add bits of baked, crispy prosciutto to the balsamic garnish.

Making of a Signature Drink: Beecher's Grilled Cheese Martini | The Daily Meal (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Photo: Maryse Chevriere)


  1. Sounds like a tasty cocktail, but what does it have to do with a martini? That’s a pet peve for me – it’s questionable whether anything without gin can be called a martini, but certainly nothing without vermouth can.

    1. I agree, as a purist,  vermouth should be splashed in a chilled glass, then removed,  and chilled gin poured in.  the only other ingredient may be olives or a lemon twist.   The gin should be Sapphire or Hendricks.     anything else?  is not a martini,  it is a foofy drink.    I love me some martinis,  and I love some grilled cheese sammich.  I would EAT a grilled cheese sammich, while drinking a martini.   but?     purist….   :(   I miss out on all the possibilities of appletinis, chocolatinis, etc,   because I do not drink foofy drinks.

    2. Yep. Just because it’s in a martini glass, doesn’t mean it’s a martini. Martinis are made with GIN. However… I prefer mine with vodka, extra dirty… and only two, or I lose my shoes. Every time. lol :P

      This sounds utterly vile.

  2. A grilled cheese sandwich infused vodka? Well, I’ve had garlic infused vodka (and jalapeño infused tequila) at the Garlic & Shots, in London… so why not try this?

  3. This is probably just the inability to eat wheat talking but that really doesn’t sound appetizing to me at all.

    1. Well, they might be able to make it on bread from some other kind of grains, and there’s a lot of potato vodka around … I don’t blame you for your skepticism, but I doubt the wheat part is the biggest issue here. x)

    2. I can eat wheat, and love me a good grilled cheese, and I’m of one mind with you on this.  Sounds disgusting.  I am of the opinion that all these “-tini” drinks are made for people who don’t really like to drink alcohol at all.

  4. This sounds absolutely vile, but Beecher’s mac and cheese is the best thing in the world, so I would try it out of loyalty.

  5. Usually when people ask me why I don’t drink, I tell them that I’m allergic; that I break out in handcuffs and track marks.

    Now I have another reason.

    Thanks again, Boing Boings!

  6. I like the idea that people try different combinations in order to beguile our palettes, but I think we should really draw the line after adding fruit and veg.  Olives, lemon twists and the like, possibly salt.  But cheese?  Nah.  It’s up there with Steak au chocolat. 

    Good call on Garlic & Shots in London.  Truly hardcore.

  7. I’ll drink a foofy drink, but I will not call it a -tini, and certainly not a martini. It’s a cocktail, and that’s fine.

  8. I have been known to have a glass of vodka and a drip of vermouth in a martini glass with an olive or two. For lack of a better term I call it a martini. Still, I prefer gin usually.

  9. Infused vodka- even a soused sandwich- OK, worth a shot; but I’ll chime in as well: please- leave the label “martini” out of it. 

  10. Well, if we want to get pedantic about it, we should remember that vodka, by definition, is the purest alcohol that can be distilled- just alcohol and water. Gin, on the other hand, is a pure alcohol infused with stuff, traditionally herbs, and most notably juniper berries. Thus, a vodka infused with a grilled cheese sandwich is, technically, a grilled-cheese gin. A drink made out of it, and poured into a martini glass, would be a -tini drink (going by lightning’s definition above), although it still wouldn’t be a martini without vermouth.

    1. Close.  However, the botanicals in gin are infused during the distillation process.  There are some exceptions but those are the “compound gins” used in dive bar well drinks.

      Gin is not made by dumping flavoring agents in a finished product such as vodka.

    2. Wikipedia – “The name gin is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean “juniper”.[3] The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica states that the word gin is an abbreviation of “Geneva”, both words being derived from the French genièvre (juniper).[4]”
      I don’t think grilled cheese infused vodka is a gin in any sense, technical or colloquial.

  11. I’m going to have to assume that this is better than it sounds. Because how this concept would seem even palatable to anybody is beyond me. It makes me want to gag!

    I mean, I would not necessarily be opposed to a hearty grilled cheese drink/soup… like some thin cheese sauce with toasted bread bits in it, served in a martini glass. That actually sounds really good to me. But combining cheese with vodka sounds awful.

  12. Just ’cause its in a Martini glass, don’t make it a Martini.

    No Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth?
    No Martini.

  13. This sounds utterly disgusting.

    However, the sheer surrealism of this:

    We’re talking about vodka that has literally been infused with a grilled cheese sandwich

    made my day!  Thanks!

  14. I liked this idea better when Clive’s did this.

  15. I quibble with this being a grilled cheese martini. Beside no vermouth in the martini, there’s also the sandwich part to take issue with.

    The garnish is made of prosciutto, and prosciutto is a type of ham. Once you add ham to a grilled cheese sandwich it’s no longer a grilled cheese sandwich; it’s instead a croque-monsieur.

  16. I’m surprised so many people are down on this idea.  I would totally try it.  I bet it is better than a buttered popcorn flavored jelly belly.

    1. Just wait… some one will invent a buttered popcorn flavored jelly belly cocktail. Or maybe just soak vodka in that really nasty microwave popcorn and throw some marshmallow fluff in it.

      Mmmmmm…. vomit.

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