The key to Leyenda’s take on the “dirty tequila Martini” is finding the right balance of brine and vermouth. At the Brooklyn agave-centric bar, the brine comes from house-pickled tomatillo in place of the more traditional olive. “We wanted it to be a bit more Latin driven,” says Leanne Favre, head bartender, and she doesn’t hold back: “I started with less, and I realized it wanted to be dirtier. We’re always desiring more tomatillo.”
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila, preferably El Velo blanco
- 1/4 ounce mezcal, preferably Los Vecinos
- 1/4 ounce manzanilla sherry, preferably Lustau
- 1/4 ounce dry vermouth, preferably Gonzalez Byass Vermut Seco
- 1/2 ounce pickled tomatillo brine (see Editor’s Note)
- 1/4 ounce tomatillo syrup (see Editor’s Note)
Garnish: pickled tomatillo
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
- Strain over a large ice cube.
- Garnish with pickled tomatillo.
360 grams white vinegar
360 grams water
14 grams kosher salt
14 grams white sugar
450 grams (about 8 to 10) tomatillos, husks removed
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 serrano chile, sliced lengthwise
2 grams cumin seeds, crushed
2 grams black peppercorns, crushed
Combine the white vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan. Stir, bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Rinse, stem and quarter tomatillos. Add tomatillos, roughly chopped garlic, serrano, cumin seeds and peppercorns to a Cambro or other non-reactive container. Pour the hot mixture over other ingredients. Let cool, then seal the container. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 24 hours (preferably a week).
Pickled Tomatillo Syrup
1 part pickled tomatillos
1 part white sugar
Blend ingredients until completely incorporated. Fine-strain, then bottle and store.