Print Article
Mexican Martinis Mexican martini with jalapeno-stuffed olives

Developing Your Own Signature House Drink
The Mexican Martini

"Choose your tequila carefully"

By Trish Bales

This summer we were invited to spend a glorious week on a private island in the middle of Moosehead Lake in Northern Maine. The 1903 cabin was perfectly set on its own wooded island surrounded by the sounds of loons and fragrant pine trees.

Before we actually arrived at the cabin I was informed that the house drink on Snake Island was the Manhattan. I'd had Manhattans before but I couldn't tell you how they were made or even what was in them, just that the name sounded very vintage and sophisticated to me.

They were delicious and went well with the peaceful surroundings of the lake. There's something to be said about combining our visual senses with our tasting senses. By the end of the week however I was ready for something different, something more familiar. I broke out the tequila and introduced the Mexican Martini to Northern Maine.

Our hosts had never heard of a Mexican Martini or any other kind of martini other than the traditional one made with gin. With Martini bars opening up all over the country, the popularity and variety of martinis keeps growing. I am pretty sure, though, that Mexican Martinis are a Texas concoction and maybe even an Austin invention.

Many of the finest Tex-Mex restaurants are serving up this delicious variation on the traditional martini and the traditional margarita, and it is slowly working its way into private homes as a Signature House Drink. Currently, a competition seems to be underway in my circle of friends as to the creation and serving of the best Mexican Martini.

Developing your own Signature House Drink makes guests feel special, and they will begin to look forward to and even count on that certain drink recipe you've perfected. It also adds a unique twist to your entertaining skills and impresses new guests and long-time friends alike.


When making a Mexican Martini, choose your tequila carefully. There are many brands and colors of tequila these days, and they all vary in flavor and quality. Find the one you like best, or get one bottle of white (clear) tequila and one bottle of gold (amber) tequila and keep them on hand. My favorite tequila is Sauza Hornitos Tequila. It's a super premium 100% Blue Agave Resposado (resting) Tequila which does its resting in American oak containers for up to 6 months before being bottled. It's a pale, straw-colored, mellow tequila with a hint of fresh peppermint, and it makes a fine Mexican Martini. It's also more affordable than other 100 percent blue agave tequilas on the market.

When purchasing the other ingredients for your Signature House Drink, be choosy again. Try not to purchase ingredients that contain loads of sugar. Your guests will feel sick from the sugar before they even finish the drink.

Below is the recipe that's been circulating among my friends for a number of years now. Each household tries to improve on this basic recipe, but I like it just as it is. Of course, successful preparation of this martini will be more likely with the use of a good cocktail shaker and, as with all martinis, the Mexican Martini must be served in traditional style martini glasses with skewered fresh, plump olives. Fancy martini olives can be found in gourmet shops and liquor stores along with stainless steel cocktail skewers; how toothpicks are just fine for skewering.

The splash of orange juice in the recipe below helps layer the levels of tartness, and gives the drink its punch. Pouring in a bit of the olive juice from the jar makes it "dirty", a common martini term, and imparts a little salty flavoring. It doesn't matter if you use gold or white tequila in this recipe, and the fresher the orange juice the better the drink.

This recipe makes one large Mexican martini.

Mexican Martini

  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounce Cointreau or Paula's Texas Orange
  • Splash of fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. olive juice from the olive jar (or use Dirty Sue)
  • skewered cocktail olives
Fill a 16-ounce cocktail shaker halfway with ice and add the first four ingredients. The amounts of fresh lime juice and olive juice negate any need for Sweet & Sour mix (if not using a cocktail shaker, add approximately 8 ounces). Shake until contents are mixed and chilled. Strain into martini glasses, and serve with skewered olives.

So get out your bartender's apron and start polishing the glasses.

Kitchen tools you'll need: Martini Glasses, Rimming Salts & Sugars
Look for margarita recipes in Tasting Away In Margaritaville

Drink Recipes

Online Since 1997
Stay Connected
Follow us on Twitter
Our Facebook Fan Page
TexasCooking on Flickr

Message Boards
Recipe Exchange, Chat

Follow Me on Pinterest

Texas Wines & Wineries

Texas Restaurants

Website: Texana
Visit our sister site devoted to Texas books, travel, people and culture

Order your
special groceries here!

Save on Your
Favorite Coffee

Coffee For Less
5% off Coupon Code: CFLESS
Texas Cooking readers save on
Online Groceries
Recipes Alphabetical
A - B   C   D - F   G - J
K - N   O - P   Q - S   T - Z
Copyright , Mesquite Management, Inc. All rights reserved.