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Mexican martini

A Mexican martini from Trudy's in Austin, Texas.

What: This popular Austin libation is essentially an on-the-rocks margarita served in a cold cocktail shaker with a martini glass and some olives—salt is, of course, optional. As the name suggests, it’s a margarita meets a martini: tequila and mixers (Triple Sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier; lime juice, sometimes orange juice, and/or a splash of Sprite), plus olives and occasionally olive juice.

Where: Local Tex-Mex favorite Trudy’s (multiple locations including the original at 409 W. 30th St., map) is a great place to sample a Mexican martini or two, though as is often the case with this drink, there’s a lot in that shaker—the bar actually has a two-martini limit (per person) for these potent babies. This location of Trudy’s has a nice outdoor patio.

When: (Bar hours) Mon-Thurs, 2pm-2am; Fri, 11am-2am; Sat, 9am-2am; Sun, 10am-2am. Happy hour is Mon-Fri, 2pm-6pm.

Good to know: Among Trudy’s excellent daily drink specials are $7 Mexican Martini Mondays and Top-Shelf Tuesdays, during which you can upgrade to a better-than-house tequila for a better-than-usual price—definitely recommended, as you can really taste the difference.

Order: A house Mexican martini ($9; $8 during happy hour), or a top-shelf Mexican martini with your choice of Cointreau or Grand Marnier as your mixer, for which the price ranges ($9.50-$20). Order it “dirty” for extra olives and/or olive juice—it is still a martini, after all. And remember: These are generously sized, so feel free to share one shaker among friends. As for the food, we hear the migas and chicken-and-cheese stuffed avocado (which is also breaded and fried) are winners.

Alternatively: Most Tex-Mex restaurants will include this on the cocktail list, but some spots get more buzz than others. It’s never been proven true, but Cedar Door (201 Brazos St., map) claims to pour the “original” Mexican martini. The bar and grill features “Mexican Mondays,” which includes discounted tequila upgrades for the martini, and now sells its own “Mexican Martini Mix,” to which would-be bartenders have to add only tequila, Triple Sec, lime, and olives (according to the website, this mix is also used behind the bar). You won’t find mixes at Iron Cactus (multiple locations including 606 Trinity St., map), boasting 80-plus varieties of tequila and $5 Mexican martinis every weekday from 4pm-7pm; it also offers riffs on the martini that include add-ins like chocolate vodka or jalapeño and agave syrup.


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