While I don’t recall the exact age or moment that I had my very first Mexican Martini, I do remember the general time of my life when I would head out with my co-workers to happy hour at Trudy’s North Star to blow off steam at the end of a long workday. There was always a two martini limit, a wise decision for all parties involved since they tend to pack quite a punch. My happy hour days have scaled down drastically now. The closest I come to happy hour involves popping open a bottle of wine with a couple of friends while sitting in one of our backyards watching the kids play. I know, very exciting! I do still enjoy the rare opportunity when I get to go out to a nice restaurant where they can expertly whip up one of my favorite drinks.
Interestingly enough, Mexican Martinis vary from city to city across the state of Texas. On a somewhat recent trip to Dallas, we ventured out on foot for dinner in the downtown area and happened to stop in at Sol Irlandes on Main Street. I excitedly ordered a martini, took my first sip and was a bit shocked to taste something completely different than what I was used to. Mexican Martinis are in the margarita family, tasting similar, only smoother and saltier thanks to the olive juice. This particular one in Dallas was spicy. Yes, spicy. I was so taken with the drink, having adjusted to it quite nicely after a couple more sips that Tony, the bartender, came over to our table to go over the ingredients which happened to have jalapeño juice in it. I have to say that it paired nicely with the brisket tacos that I was eating. Doesn’t seem to get much more “Texas” than that!
On a trip to San Antonio a couple of years back, I ordered one at Mi Tierra in the Marketplace and was so disgusted with the taste that I couldn’t even think about taking a second sip. Perhaps it was a bad night. I admit that I stick to their margaritas whenever we visit the restaurant now. I’ve thought about taking a Mexican Martini road trip across the state to document the different ways each city makes them. That would be fun, eh? We could rent out a bus and make it a LiveMom field trip.
Now, perhaps I am the luckiest person ever because it just so happens that my wonderful neighbor knows how to make ‘em! Now my backyard happy hours can have a little more variety and spunk, especially during this hot summer when something cold to drink is a must when you are outside. Courtesy of Christy, here is the recipe for the essential drink of Summer 2011. Cheers!
2 oz. tequila2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 oz. orange juice
1 1/2 oz. Cointreau
splash of Sprite
splash of olive juice
Jalapeño stuffed olives
Directions: Fill a shaker with ice. Add all ingredients, tequila through olive juice. Cover and shake. Strain into a glass and add in a couple of olives.
Note: This drink is very adaptable based on how you like your drink to taste – if you want it sweeter (less acidic), add more Sprite or you can add more olive juice for a different flavor (salty). Adjust amounts to your preference.
Written by Catherine Prystup