Alyssa Morin

Best martini: Palmilla

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The Jalapeño Cucumber Martini at Palmilla. Photo by Alyssa Morin.

The Jalapeño Cucumber Martini at Palmilla. Photo by Alyssa Morin.

Lest you think that Palmilla is only a place for tequila, take a gander at their extensive martini list. Manny Hinojsa, the brand mixologist for Bacardi, is the brains behind a craft cocktail list that features the Cabo Cosmo, the Mexican Hot Chocolate Martini, and the locally beloved Jalapeño Cucumber Martini.

To make the local favorite, bartenders use Grey Goose vodka, muddled cucumber and jalapeno, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. The cocktail is hand-shaken and served up in a martini glass. The secret ingredient is TY KU Citrus Liqueur , a blend of yuzu and other Asian fruits with TY KU Soju, a low calorie Asian spirit. The TY KU adds sweetness without adding calories and makes even a stiff martini taste decidedly less boozy.

“We swear by this stiff,” bartender Kevin Williams said. “It makes every cocktail taste better.”

The result is a refreshing, ice-cold martini with the right blend of sweet and spicy. Just don’t forget to enjoy some nibbles with your drinks; these buggers go down almost too easily.

Runner-up: Gasser Lounge, 1500 Aviation Blvd, RB. www.gasserlounge.com