Looking to branch out from your standard margarita? You’ll love this spicy Mexican martini! With just a few ingredients, this tequila martini comes together quickly and couldn’t be easier to make for even the novice home bartender.
I’m never one to turn down a margarita. Something magical happens when you combine tequila, lime and orange liqueur.
But sometimes it’s fun to change it up to keep you on your toes. That’s where this spicy Mexican martini comes in handy, so let's get to it.
What Is a Mexican Martini?
A Mexican martini is like a margarita and dirty martini came together to make a little cocktail baby. Touching, isn’t it? This martini includes tequila, agave nectar, orange liqueur, olive brine and fresh lime juice.
Originally, Austin, Texas-based Trudy’s created the Mexican martini, but many other popular Tex-Mex restaurants in the state added this tasty number to their cocktail menus after it took off. As someone who grew up in Texas and spent my college years there, I’ve had my share of Mexican martinis and can confirm this recipe is just as delicious as the drinks you’d get there.
Typically, this tasty tequila cocktail doesn’t include spicy jalapeno. But I love a good jalapeno margarita and thought a spicy twist on this martini would be just as delicious. Don’t mind me as I pat myself on the back because that extra spice takes this cocktail to a new level.
That said, if you’re sensitive to spice, simply skip the jalapeno slices and use plain olives rather than the jalapeno-stuffed olives this recipe uses.
If you’re new to making cocktails, this is the perfect drink to try. You'll find it's one seriously simple martini.
We grab a cocktail shaker and add freshly squeezed lime juice with a few jalapeno slices and muddle by applying pressure on the jalapeno slices and then twisting several times. You can do this with a muddler, but if you don't have one, a wooden spoon also works.
Now we add our tequila, orange liqueur, agave nectar, olive brine and ice to the cocktail shaker. We pop on the top, give it a good shake, strain into chilled martini glasses and garnish with olives. Now we sit back, preferably on a patio, and sip away!
Expert Tips and FAQs
As you can see, the process of making this martini is simple, but ingredients make a difference. These are my recommendations for making the best Mexican martini.
- Use freshly squeezed lime juice. I know bottled juice is convenient, but the flavor isn’t as fresh. Plus, it takes hardly any time to squeeze, especially with a handheld citrus juicer.
- Reposado tequila is my favorite for this martini. Unlike silver tequila, reposado tequila spends time aging in oak barrels for at least six months. This gives it a more complex flavor that shines in this cocktail.
- Grand Marnier is my favorite orange liqueur for this cocktail. Cointreau isn’t a bad option either. That said, both are pricey, so triple sec also works for a more budget-friendly option.
- Fresh jalapenos over pickled make a big difference. Muddling releases the jalapenos oils, so you won’t get the same flavor or spice level with pickled jalapenos.
- I tested this with simple syrup and agave nectar. Matt and I both agreed we prefer agave nectar in this martini.
- To play up the spice, I used jalapeno-stuffed olives for the brine and garnish.
Of course, these are just my recommendations. Only have silver tequila? Work with what’s on hand. Will someone take you away for using bottled lime juice? Not in the least.
With the briny olive juice and acidic lime, I love this Mexican martini with oyster shooters. A fresh seafood ceviche is another delicious option, and I have no doubt you'll love them with my Mexican meatballs with avocado-crema sauce.
When you're in the mood for a cocktail that's a bit different but still plenty refreshing, I hope you try this spicy Mexican martini.
Looking for More Taco Tuesday Cocktails?
- Cucumber-jalapeño margarita
- Triple citrus tequila smash
- Jalapeño-mango margarita
- Coconut margarita
- Raspberry-peach margarita
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Spicy Mexican Martini
- Cocktail shaker
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Citrus juicer
- 2-3 jalapeno slices plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier
- ½ ounce brine from jalapeno-stuffed olives
- ½ ounce agave nectar
- Lime slices for garnish, optional
- Coarse sea salt for garnish, optional
- Chili powder for garnish, optional
- Jalapeno-stuffed olives for garnish, optional
- Add jalapeno slices and lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the jalapeno slices to release their oils.
- Add the tequila, Grand Marnier, brine, agave nectar and a handful of ice. Put on the top and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds.
- Run a lime slice around the rim of a martini glass. On a small plate, stir together about equal parts sea salt and chili powder to make a cohesive mixture. Swirl the rim of the martini glass into the salt-chili powder mixture.
- Strain the martini into the glass. Garnish with olive slices, a lime slice and additional jalapeno slices if desired. Enjoy!
- Triple sec or Cointreau also work in place of Grand Marnier.
- If you don't have jalapeno-stuffed olives, you can use regular olives, but the brine won't be as spicy.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.