Dia de los Muertos Martini (Marigold Martini)
Mi abuelita was a classy, loving, wonderful woman. She always dressed to impress with her crisp pencil skirts, silk beautiful blouses, perfectly shined patent heels that matched her accessories. Pure elegance. She smelled of fresh picked flowers and always had a smile for everyone. Her home was always tidy and you could always find a pitcher of fresh lemonade in the fridge. She was cool, calm and gentle. My abuelito adored her… my mami looked up to her… I simply loved her.
She left this earth three weeks ago to be with her loved ones and I am a feeling mix of emotions…happiness and sadness. I’m happy she is no longer in pain, happy she will be with her son she lost in the Vietnam War and happy she will see her beloved husband again. On the other hand I am sadden that I was not there to say goodbye, sad to see my mami in pain and deeply saddened to lose my abuelita who has influenced much of what I share on my blog Sweet Life.
Many of the memories I cherish are of us spending time in the kitchen with my mami. From making cocktail book Latin Twist , tortillas, cocktail book Latin Twist to cocktails the aromas that are etched into my heart are in large part due to this wonderful little lady who is my abuelita.
In my cocktail book Latin Twist I write “Even though I was quite young, I knew how exactly how to prepare Papi’s tequila, how to properly serve chilled beer n his favorite glass, ad how to work the crowd graciously, asking if anyone needed a refill or wanted something special to drink. Most importantly, I knew to always, always check into with my beloved abuelita, who despite begin a fierce spirit, usually allowed me to have a sip of her brandy or cream liqueurs.”
You see my abuelita kicked off my journey all with a small sip of her cocktail. At a young age I realized that is you perfectly combined fresh ingredients, cooked with love every dish or cocktail you present to family and friends would be a thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. With a small sip of her cocktail I was introduced to the world of entertaining. Over the years I would sip many of her cocktails, later evolve into making her cocktails or sharing a glass of wine or brandy with her and my mami at the table after a long day of baking pan de polvo. She would slowly sip her glass, smile and say “que rico.”
With day of the dead – Dia de los Muertos coming up I wanted to honor my abuelita with a cocktail that I knew she would enjoy after a long day of cooking in the kitchen. This marigold martini captures my abuelita perfectly in every way. Vibrant, lightly sweetened, floral notes, plus it packs a punch just like she did. A classic martini never goes out of style and today I want to share with you a variation that reminds me of her. For this variation we will be using infused vodka instead of gin, plus we are adding a splash of elderflower liqueur for a layered floral note, remember I said my abuelita always smelled of freshly picked flowers?
I began by infusing vodka with dried marigolds. Infusing is very easy and you can use any spirit you like; tequila, vodka or rum. Last year I infused tequila with dried marigolds to create a margarita to honor my grandfather. Find tips on how to infuse tequila, vodka and my marigold infused tequila recipes. To make marigold infused vodka please follow the directions for the marigold infused tequila.
Cempasuchil (marigolds) are the traditional flower used to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos. An important Day of the Dead symbol these flowers symbolize the brevity of life. They are referred to as the flower of the dead. They are placed on the altar and the grave where their petals are sprinkled on the ground to lead the dead to their grave. It is believed that marigolds guide the spirit of the dead to their altars using their vibrant color and fragrance.
I used the infused marigold vodka as a base for this day of the dead inspired martini, plus elderflower liqueur, sweet vermouth, bitters and dry ice. We are shaking this marigold martini with plenty of ice, and then straining to a chilled glass. You don’t have to use the dry ice, but I enjoy the billowy effect as it seems like her spirit is with me as I sip this cocktail. Be careful when handling dry ice and do not drink the dry ice; I added only a small cube that gently floated to the bottom of the glass.
I miss you my sweet cucita. Te mando un abrazo y mil besos, Salud!
- 1 ½ ounces marigold infused vodka
- 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
- Splash of elderflower liqueur
- 2 dashed of bitters
- Dry ice to serve optional
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled glass; add a small chip of dry ice.
Your blog is beautiful and inspiring. I first found it when trying to find a recipe for goat-cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped-jalapenos… and I was excited to find so many wonderful recipes and gorgeous photography on your site.
I have a friend named Abby Mancina, who is an excellent caterer, and your memories of your relationship with your dear Abuelita makes me think of her and all she and her whole family learned and became because of their wonderful grandmother. Their grandmother lived in Juarez and had a beautiful rose garden.
I look forward to seeing more of your recipes, memories, and opinions. Thank you for the creative and delicious menus too!
I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother Vianney. But from what you’ve said about her, I think she would be very impressed with this drink. I hope you toasted to her and all your loved ones today. ¡Felix Dia de los Muertos)