New Mexican Martini

A Spicy Briny take on a Southern Classic

a month ago

Back during the first year of the COTW segment, my best friend (Hugh Hunton) and I went and spent the day with Ryan Huntley who at that time was the General Manager at Mi Dia in Plano. Since Hugh and I are Both TABC licensed as bartenders, Ryan allowed us behind his bar to play with and create a new Cocktail for Cinco Di Mayo 2021. This take on their signature New Mexican Martini is one of the cocktails that we played with. 

The Spicy Añejo Margarita puts a creative twist on the traditional margarita by incorporating jalapeño peppers, olives, and mandarin liqueur into the mix. The result is a cocktail that balances sweet, savory, spicy, and citrusy flavors for a complex sipping experience. High quality añejo tequila provides a smooth base while the additional ingredients each enhance the margarita in their own way.

Lets take a minute and talk about each of the ingredients and why I have chosen them for this cocktail

This cocktail calls for using 100% agave añejo tequila, which is aged in oak barrels from 1 to 3 years. The aging gives it a deeper complexity, woody taste, and brownish color. Añejo tequila has a sophisticated peppery flavor and smooth finish that makes it perfect for high-end craft cocktails. The añejo is the true foundation providing rich agave flavor.

To balance out the spicy kick of the jalapeños, this margarita contains agave nectar or syrup. The agave sweetness counteracts the heat and gives the cocktail body. Look for quality organic agave nectar that will nicely accent the aged tequila without overpowering it.

Mandarin Napoleon is a mandarin orange liqueur that adds a layer of fruitiness. The tart, tangy mandarin flavor blends wonderfully with lime and jalapeño. It introduces citrus notes while also reinforcing the sweetness of the agave for a well-rounded profile. It is a very grown up version of Triple Sec

Jalapeño peppers infuse the margarita with a nice slow, burning heat. By adding fresh sliced jalapeños, you get an extra kick of spice on the back end. The capsaicin in the peppers generates that addictive chili burn that beautifully complements the flavors.

Incorporating briny, savory olives is an inspired addition not found in a typical margarita. Muddling green olives releases their flavors and makes the drink deliciously dirty. The salty, vegetal olives balance against the sweet mandarin and agave.

Freshly squeezed lime juice brings that critical tart, citrusy flavor integral to any margarita. Lime adds brightness and acidity to cut through the richness of the añejo tequila. This helping of vitamin C is essential.

New Mexican Martini



The Spicy Añejo Margarita is ready to sip and savor! The jalapeño heat sneaks up on you while the mandarin, agave, and olives make each taste complex and intriguing. Cheers to this fiery tequila cocktail!

As always I am open to hear your take and your input. You can reach me at [email protected]

Brian Certain

Published a month ago