Appetizers and Drinks
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Fiery Mexican Martini

My day job took me to Austin a few times earlier this year. I spent as much time as I could sampling* the local cuisine – barbecue and Tex-Mex.
*Read: stuffing myself until I could barely move.

There are a lot of wonderful things to eat in Austin, but my favorite was the Mexican Martini. Or the Texas Martini – I saw both names used for what is essentially the same drink. Tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker full of ice, served in a martini glass with a salted rim. Drop in some olives stuffed with jalapenos, and the drink is ready to enjoy.

My favorite version was the spicy Texas martini served at Chuy’s, where the tequila is infused with jalapenos, to give the drink a little extra kick. I came home determined to make it for myself.

A Mexican martini is a simple drink, with no place to hide low quality ingredients. Get 100% agave silver tequila. You don’t want to infuse reposado or anejo tequila, and cover up all their subtleties with spicy jalapenos. Use orange liqueur, not a cheap triple-sec; I like Cointreau. Most important: you must use fresh lime juice and simple syrup. Please, for the love of all that is good and right, no sweet and sour mix!
*If you want a frozen margarita, then I’ll let you use sweet and sour mix. But not in this drink. It needs fresh lime juice to make it work. And, actually, I buy frozen limeade for my frozen margaritas. I have no idea why anyone would voluntarily drink sweet and sour mix.

Yes, there are a lot of steps to this drink. Most of the work is done ahead of time; simple syrup keeps for weeks in the refrigerator, and the infused tequila lasts forever. Once the pre-work is done, you can serve Mexican martinis until your guests say “no mas”.

Recipe: Fiery Mexican Martini


Cook time: 10 minutes

Makes 2 Mexican Martinis

Ingredients:

Jalapeno Infused Tequila:

  • 1 (750ml) bottle 100% agave silver tequila
  • 3 jalapeno or serrano peppers, stemmed and halved

Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Martini Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Jalapeno-Infused Tequila
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) orange liqueur (Cointreau)
  • Juice of 2 limes (save the squeezed lime rinds for salting the rim)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) simple syrup
  • Ice
  • 4 jalapeno-stuffed olives
  • Kosher salt (or other coarse salt)

Directions:

1. Infuse the tequila:
Combine the tequila and jalapeno peppers in a quart container with a lid. Seal the container and steep the jalapenos in the tequila overnight, or up to 24 hours. Strain the jalapenos and any stray seeds out of the tequila, and pour the tequila back into the original bottle.

2. Make the simple syrup:
Heat 1 cup water in the microwave until boiling, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup sugar, then stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. (Simple syrup will keep up to a month in the refrigerator).

3. Prepare the glasses:
Spread kosher salt in a plate that is slightly larger than the diameter of a martini glass. Squeeze one of the limes, reserving the juice for later, and use the rind to wet the rims of two martini glasses. Twirl the glasses in the kosher salt. Skewer the olives on two toothpicks, and set in the glasses.

4. Make the martini:
Add the tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup and lime juice to a cocktail shaker, then fill with ice. Cover and shake well. Pour into the prepared glasses and enjoy.

Variations:

*Not-so-fiery Mexican Martini: Skip the infusion step, and use 100% agave silver tequila.

Notes:

*I strongly suggest a good lime squeezer for this recipe.

*Why do I feel like I’m stepping into a holy war with this post? I expect a mob of angry Austinites*, carrying pitchforks and torches, to descend on my comments section.
*Austiners? Austinininans? I’m digging myself deeper, aren’t I.

*So, If I’ve offended your culinary sensibilities, remember two things:

  1. That’s Right, I’m Not From Texas
  2. If you leave a comment saying how horribly wrong I am, you must include a recipe. How else will I know where I went wrong?

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Tomatillo Salsa

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Filed under: Appetizers and Drinks

by

Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

24 Comments

  1. Hughstonerox says

    Mike,

    That drink sounds wonderful! Oh by the way, I am from Texas. Tried your rotisserrie turkey with great results. I am back on your site looking for ideas. I may try this one. I too use frozen lime juice in my margies….

    • Denise says

      Texas martinis are amazing and Austin is the place to have them

  2. autumn says

    I infused vodka instead of tequila cause I wasn’t sure I would like it and figured I could at least use spicy vodka for bloody marys if it didn’t work. Loved the taste, gave me the WORST heartburn ever.

  3. bartenderchris says

    Im from Texas and I can’t wait to try this recipe! Im also a bartender and you know what you’re doing! Going to infuse my tequila tonight! 🙂

  4. Regina says

    Has anyone tried using agave syrup rather than simple syrup? I find its not as sweet as simple syrup so maybe I will try it and use 3 tablespoons of agave. I am infusing taquila now.

  5. Richard Garza says

    My wife loves that drink from Chuy’s. I made it as per your instructions. Came out a little too hot and spicy. I’m going to mix the infused tequila with regular 100% Agave tequila to see if I can reduce the heat. What would you suggest?

  6. My girlfriend absolutely LOVES the Chuy’s New Mex Martini (I personally don’t like margaritas or martinis, but rather enjoy this drink). In fact we visit Chuy’s at least once a week so she can get her fix.

    They told us they infuse their tequila with green chiles instead of jalapeño peppers. We are attempting this exact recipe with Anaheim peppers instead. We just finished roasting the peppers and will begin infusing the El Jimador tonight. We are going to let it sit for 2 days (if we can wait that long) and see how it turns out). It shouldn’t be as spicy as the jalapeño or serrano peppers.

    If I can remember, I will post a follow up with the results.

  7. They actually infuse the tequila with hatch chilies…the rest of the recipe is spot on. ( ;

  8. Khseibert says

    I am a Texan born and raised… I have been looking for a great recipe for this spicy Mexican Martini. LOVE this cocktail!!! .. However I was too impatient to infuse the Tequila. I purchased Tanteo 100% Agave Jalepeno Tequila. Other than that…I didn’t vary from the recipe.

  9. julie says

    Tequila should be infused with roasted hatch green chilies. We infused ours for about a week and it should then last a year or so.

  10. Robyn says

    I am from San Antonio and have enjoyed Chuy’s New Mexican Martinis. I made these today and I say they are superb! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Ok. I like this version of the Mexican Martini but I do have another yummy way to make it! Silver tequila infused with jalapeños, grand mariner, olive juice, splash of orange juice. Two plump olives
    Try it, you’ll like it!

  12. Great recipe! I was a Chuys regular for years (before moving away) and miss the New Mexican martini terribly. This is a wonderful version! I recommend adding a splash of the olive juice next time you try it. Cheers!

  13. Mike from Austin says

    So, can anyone supply the proper proportion of roasted hatch peppers to tequila?

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