Flavor of the Week: South Dakota Martini

Indisputably the classiest of regional drinks, this alcoholic mixed beverage has limited ingredients and does not require a proper martini glass.  Tip it into a mason jar and stir with your finger, it’ll only add to the flavor.

Making a South Dakota Martini

Riston, resident bartender at the Dry Creek Bar & Grill in Spearfish, South Dakota, finishes mixing the state’s specialty drink.



  • 1/2 pint of domestic lager; preferably Pabst Blue Ribbon or Bud Light; best if poured from draft, not bottle.
  • 1/2 pint of tomato juice.
  • 4-10 green olives, to taste.
  • 2-4 pickle slices, to taste.

Pour beer into a chilled drinking container.  Add tomato juice until liquid reaches the top of the glass.  Drop in additional vegetables.  Drink & enjoy.

The origins of this martini are unknown.  Though common misconception credits Nebraska with its creation, what is known is that it disappears from menus east of the Mississippi.

Not to be confused with the popular Midwest red beer (tomato juice + lager) or the fishy mixture favored by our Canadian neighbors to the north (tomato juice + lager + clam juice), the uniqueness of this mix depends on the pimento-stuffed olives and dilled cucumbers.

A general consensus taken at my work place, Creek Bar & Grill, confirmed that South Dakota specialties deserve more world renown; so, if this spirited concoction puts us on the globe, then cheers to that!

Check out this map, compiled by the Brew Blog- Houston Press, to find out what liquid attributes belong to the other 49 US States.


4 responses to “Flavor of the Week: South Dakota Martini

  1. Pingback: 21 Reasons To Take A Midwest Summer Road Trip | Too Mutch For Words·

  2. There is also a Dakota martini It was served at the Red Garter Saloon in Rapid City. It was tap Michelob beer and an olive in a pilsner glass. Also called a Mick

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