Shouldn’t Taste Good But It Does: Cocktail Edition

The other night, I met some ladies for beverages and snacks at a local restaurant. One individual ordered a margarita. When the server delivered it, she seemed puzzled.

“Isn’t this supposed to come with an olive?” she asked?

I thought it was the strangest thing to expect a sweet cocktail to include a green olive garnish. I’ve always associated them with savory drinks like Bloody Marys and martinis. At that time, the thought of a green olive in a margarita sounded gross.

I’ve since changed my tune and learned that olives in sweet, fruity drinks aren’t so unusual. The New York Times article “Austin’s Very Own Martini” describes the Mexican Martini which originated in Austin, Texas. It’s a big margarita served in a cocktail shaker and garnished with green olives on a skewer. I’m not sure Mexican Martinis are popular in North Iowa, so I’ll brace myself for curious looks when I ask bartenders to toss a handful of olives into sweet cocktails.

Reading this article made me feel better about the sweet and salty drink I created at home. My inspiration came from clearanced cans of mango nectar I bought at Target for only $.16 each. An impulse buy at its best.

For three-four servings, fill a martini glass 3/4 full with mango nectar and add it to a martini shaker (2X). Then, add the juice from half an orange and half a lemon to cut the flat sweetness from the mango nectar. Add two glugs of vodka and two small splashes each of spiced rum and limoncello.

If you don’t have limoncello, substitute another sweet citrus flavored cordial or plain sugar syrup if you need some additional sweetness. Reduce the alcohol by omitting vodka.

Shake with some ice and garnish with as many green olive as you can handle.


  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    Oh wow—that looks really yummy. Really yummy. Never been a fan of the green olive but maybe I would change my tune if I had one of these!!!!

  2. Val

    I’ve never heard of the Mexican Martini. I might have to try it the next time I go out!

  3. Anonymous

    Nice talking to you today at The Iowa Food Blogger event. I am a new follower:) <3 Kristen from

  4. Jeni

    Thanks Kristen! You as well. I will figure out how to follow your blog, too.

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