The Next Classic: Mex Martini
Words by Jane Ryan
Swapping your gin or vodka for tequila or mezcal in a Martini is all the rage right now. But this agave-focused cocktail isn't exactly new - here we dive into the Mex Martini with its creator, Megs Miller.
If you've yet to come across the Mex Martini or the Tequila Martini, this drink combines agave spirits with bianco vermouth, stirred down and enjoyed with a zest of lemon.
DG: Where were you when you came up with the Mex Martini, what's the drink's origin story?
MM: I have been working in agave spirits for about 11 years now and while I do love a Margarita and Paloma, I have always been more drawn to non-citrus cocktails. The Martini is my favourite cocktail to make and drink, so replacing the gin or vodka with an agave spirit was an obvious option to me. When I started visiting bars while working with Altos Tequila six years ago, I would ask the bartender to make me their version of the drink. After trying many different versions, this recipe is what I feel works best for any type of agave spirit.
DG: Can you chat us through what tequilas, mezcals and raicillas etc work best in this drink?
MM: To be honest, I really do think that this recipe works for any agave distillate. Much like a Margarita can host any agave spirit. Or a Martini works for any vodka or gin.
DG: What do you think it is about agave that works best with bianco? And did you experiment with dry when making it?
MM: Yes, for me dry vermouth does not work. As agave spirits have such an amazing earthiness, the slight sweetness in the bianco vermouth balances this perfectly.
DG: The recipe is quite a wet Martini, what is it about that ratio that works for the drink?
MM: For me this drink works as a 3:1 or 2:1 wet martini. I suggest 2:1 for first time buyers, and then encourage one to play around with the measurements that they prefer. Usually I actually suggest 3:1 for tequila Martinis and 2:1 for more robust agave spirits (or higher proof) like mezcals, raicillas, etc…
DG: How many bars have you made a Mex Martini in now?
MM:I think there are too many to count! I have been making this drink for over six years. So many bars across the UK, Europe, Canada & Latin America
DG: What's the feedback been like in Mexico?
MM: It has been wonderfully received! Which for me is very exciting - friends and colleagues are now making it when they are behind the bar, which I am honoured for.
DG: Is this something just for tequila lovers or do you think even casual Margarita drinkers could fall in love with a Mex Martini?
When I have been doing guest shifts or have any opportunity to make it for someone, I have always had positive feedback whether or not the person is an agave lover or not. They are always surprised how accessible it is. I also like to use it as a welcome to drink when doing an agave tasting to open up the palate.
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