January 26, 2010

Martini de Yerba Mate–Yerba Mate Martini

Sometimes life throws you lemons.  And if you're an optimist, you make lemonade.  Or, you use the rind of said lemon and use it to make a twist in an awesome martini and wait for things to get better.

One of my favorite haunts when I was in my early 20s is the time-honored Cruise Room at Denver's Oxford Hotel.  It opened the day after Prohibition ended in 1933, and has been open ever since.  A quintessential example of Art Deco design, the Cruise Room was modelled after a bar on the ocean liner the Queen Mary.  Carved panels of cultures around the world saying 'Cheers!' line the walls, basking in dim pink light.

Now, personally,  I tend to stick to the classics–my bebida preferida (when not drinking Malbec) is a vodka martini up with two olives.  It's been years since I warmed one of those bar stools at the Cruise Room, dreaming I was in another era, and I haven't embraced the trend of pomegranategingerapplefusion-tinis that's all the rage at hip clubs and bars.

But…this martini, while it follows the mixology fad, leaves you with a little something special.  Maybe it's the grassy flavor of the Yerba Mate, or the twist of lemon, but this martini is clean and sharp.  Enough for even a traditionalist like me to enjoy!  And enjoying yourself (responsibly, of course) is something that never goes out of vogue.

As it's carved on that luminous bar-room wall, Salut!


Martini de Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate Martini

This would be a fun signature drink at an Argentina-themed party.

2 oz. vodka

1 oz. Yerba Mate, chilled

1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

twist of lemon


Brew the Yerba Mate (I used bags) very strong–a few ounces of boiling water to one bag.  Chill the Yerba Mate.  In a martini shaker or pitcher, combine the vodka, Yerba Mate and Grand Marnier.  Add ice and shake.  Strain and serve in a martini glass with lemon twist.

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6 Responses to “Martini de Yerba Mate–Yerba Mate Martini”

  1. This looks simple and quick to make. đŸ˜‰

  2. Some day I would love to mate session in Argentina. I travelled to Argentina virtually today with Joan of FOODalogue but love to go some day.

  3. Wow! Never thought of that combo but I recently had a green tea vodkatini in NY and it was dynamite.
    Mate is quite the acquired taste, and not for the faint of heart (literally). Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mark and I checked out the cruise room when we were in Denver last spring for IACP. They were closed, but the staff let us poke around anyway. I LOVE martinis and will definitely be winding down with one of these soon. As my bartender friend says “Its a light and refreshing drink!”

  5. Debe ser exquisito, no conocia la receta, lo probarè luego, aqui tomamos la bebida “mate” tradicional,la que tu conoces, un beso saludos Florencia desde Bowen Mza.

  6. Gotta try this!

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