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Love martinis and tequila? This Mexican martini is full of zingy flavor, with lime, tequila and an olive garnish.

Mexican martini
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Want to mix up your standard margarita repertoire? Try the Mexican Martini, aka Tequila Martini! There are lots of variations on this fusion concept. This recipe takes the best of a classic martini and a classic margarita in the same glass! Like a good margarita, it’s seriously tangy, not too sweet and citrusy. Then it’s got a hint of dry vermouth like a martini, and it’s garnished with an olive. And don’t forget that salt rim! It’s the perfect unique cocktail to impress a load of guests, or down as you inhale a basket of chips. Here’s how to make it!

What’s in a Mexican martini?

The Mexican martini is essentially a margarita served like a martini, invented in Texas. The exact history of the drink is unclear, and it has lots of variations. Sometimes it’s a sweet drink made with Sprite, and other versions are more dry. Some variations even use olive brine (the juice from an olive jar)! This recipe combines elements of a classic margarita and classic martini to make a new cocktail. Here’s what you need to make the best Mexican martini:

  • Tequila
  • Cointreau
  • Lime juice
  • Dry vermouth
  • Olive garnish

The Cointreau provides just enough sweetness to offset the tart lime. The dry vermouth brings in the vibe of a dry martini, which is made with gin and vermouth. Add that olive garnish and you’re martini ready! If you prefer your drinks on the sweet side, you can add a little simple syrup.

Mexican martini

How to make a Mexican martini (3 basic steps!)

Ready to get drinking? Here’s how to make a Mexican tequila martini. This drink follows the basic “shake and strain” model for cocktails:

  1. Rim the glass with salt. A classic Mexican martini is served in a martini glass with salt on the rim to evoke the margarita vibe.
  2. Shake in a cocktail shaker. Take the tequila, Cointreau, lime and dry vermouth, and shake it together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. (Don’t have one? Use a mason jar!)
  3. Strain into a glass and add garnish. Strain the drink into the cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and olive.
Mexican martini

Tips for making a salt rim

The best type of salt to use for a salt rim is kosher salt or flaky sea salt. Why? They have a nice chunky texture. If you want to add a little flair, try this Margarita Salt: the orange and lime zest looks like beautiful confetti! Here are a few tips on how to make a salt rim for this Mexican martini:

  1. Spread the salt on a plate in an even layer.
  2. Take a lime wedge and cut a notch in the middle: then slide it around the rim of the glass. This perfectly moistens the glass rim without having to use your fingers!
  3. Tilt the glass in the salt so that only the outside edge goes into the salt.
  4. Shake off any loose salt into the sink.

Triple sec or Cointreau?

The classic orange liqueur to use in a margarita is Cointreau. Some recipes call for triple sec, but it’s not nearly as good. Cointreau has a orange perfume flavor that’s well balanced between bitter and sweet, while Triple Sec can have a harsher flavor.

If you’re not sure whether you want to buy a bottle for this tequila martini, don’t worry! There’s a long list of Cointreau drinks that use it: all of our Margarita Recipes, Cosmopolitan, White Lady, Mimosa, and more.

More martini recipes

The Mexican martini is a martini in name only: it’s not a true martini! But there are so many other “martinis” that bare little semblance to the classic martini. Flavored martinis are a modern invention: most use vodka and semi-sweet to sweet. Here are some of our favorite martini recipes, both classic and flavored:

How to make a Mexican martini

When to serve a Mexican martini

This Mexican martini is fun and unique! It’s great as a:

  • Signature drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Mexican martini

Perfect Mexican Martini (Tequila Martini)

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Love martinis and tequila? This Mexican martini is full of zingy flavor, with lime, tequila and an olive garnish.


  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) tequila blanco or reposado*
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau
  • ¾ ounce (1 ½ tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • ¼ ounce dry white vermouth
  • Kosher salt, for the rim
  • For the garnish: Lime wedge and olive


  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a martini glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of kosher salt.
  2. Add the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and dry vermouth to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and shake it until cold.
  3. Strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and olive.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More Mexican cocktails

There are lots of tasty Mexican-themed cocktails! Here more Mexican cocktails to try:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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