A History Lesson With Booze ®

The Naughty Scotty and How Richard Drew Helped the World Stick Together

Around this time back in 2007, a guy named Richard Drew was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Learn the sticky history and enjoy a Vermouth-based cocktail.

By Improbcat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The History Lesson

Early in his life, Richard drew didn’t strike folks as a particularly brilliant dude. He only grudgingly went to college after he couldn’t quite swing a career as a banjo player. And then, he dropped out of college, too.

Finally, in the early 1920s, he finagled a lowly job at a company called 3M. Which at the time, mainly sold sandpaper. Richard’s task? To try and sell the sandpaper to auto shops.

One day at a shop, Richard overheard some workers cursing their fate: they’d been asked to paint a car two different colors. To do it, they’d paint the car one color… Then glue newspaper over parts of it, and apply the second color. But when they pulled off the gluey paper,  paint came off with it. Suddenly, Drew got a million-dollar idea. What if he designed a gentle adhesive tape that wouldn’t strip paint when you pulled it off? 3M had all the materials he needed. Sandpaper was just adhesive tape with grit stuck on it, right?

Working nights, Drew invented the world’s first masking tape. It was pretty simple: Just wood glue and glycerin applied to thin crepe paper. But it was a massive success. Drew went on to oversee the invention of another item you probably have in a drawer somewhere: clear “Scotch tape.” And today, a quarter-century after his death, over 20 percent of 3M’s sales still come from his products.

The Booze

The Naughty Scotty

Naughty Scotty 1

Invented by Ryan Huseby, co-owner and bar manager of Tongue in Cheek in St. Paul, where Richard Drew helped build 3M’s tape empire. The cocktail is a twist on a Manhattan and the name is inspired by Scotch Tape’s old mascot, Scotty McTape. Check out this vintage ad with Scotty before getting into the drink. Trust us, it’s worth it.


In a mixing glass with ice combine ingredients, then stir and strain into a martini glass. Optional: Garnish with a passion fruit sphere. It’s a little work of molecular gastronomy created by the Chef at Tongue in Cheek. Ryan describes it as “a little ball that’s liquid in the center. So, when you finish the cocktail, you get a little surprise passion fruit explosion at the end.”