Forget Gin And Vodka, Bring On The Tequila Martini

Gin vs. vodka, shaken vs. stirred, dirty vs. dried — these dichotomies have plagued martini drinkers since the dawn of mixology. Where these spirits evolved as the ingredients of choice for martinis, tequila evolved down a different path, ending up as the engine that powers the margarita, which is beloved in its own right. But, as cocktail culture has changed over the decades, the traditional lines across which gin, vodka, and tequila didn't tread in the 20th century have progressively blurred. Modern mixologists and consumers are after delicious, well-balanced libations regardless of what's in them.

Naturally this begs the question: Why NOT put tequila in a martini? For anyone who has taken one too many shots of tequila, the answer might seem obvious — its flavor compared to gin and vodka can be pretty overpowering. Nevertheless, tequila has some natural synergies with classic martini ingredients that make it a deserving candidate to sit in the iconic coupe glass.

The most classic iteration of the martini is made with gin, which unlike vodka is flavored with a blend of botanicals with flavor notes ranging from citrus to herbs. Tequila's flavor is primarily derived from one source, the blue agave plant, giving it a prominent flavor like gin that can be showcased in a martini. Moreover, classic martinis love citrus, and tequila pairs exceptionally well with lime.

The tequila martini contains multitudes

If you find that you're a fan of tequila martinis, there are a couple other recipes you can try to take things a step further. The Mexican Martini, while definitely not a drink martini purists would want to claim for themselves, is kind of like that lovable uncle who married into the family. It's essentially a classic margarita, but adds olive brine for a dirty-martini kick. The saltiness from the olive juice, just like a dab of salt on your wrist for chasing a tequila shot, perfectly compliments the Mexican spirit.

Another popular variation is the espresso martini, which is perfect for when you're in the mood to get knocked on the floor and stand right back up again. This coffee-fueled cocktail is usually made with vodka, but you can easily sub that out for your favorite blanco tequila. Additionally, you can amp up the tequila flavor using coffee-infused tequila instead of the drink's traditional coffee liqueur, which should give it some extra punch. You can even try garnishing your espresso tequila martini with some powdered chocolate, a flavor that's more common in Mexican cuisine than one may initially think. Tequila, coffee, and chocolate — who'd have thought, right?