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.
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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