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En la Cocina… Cantina La Veintiúnica

By Jade Arroyo

The Mexican-style bar La Veintiúnica is the perfect place to imbibe something that clears your thoughts and relaxes you after a busy day. Its traditional and joyful atmosphere carries both the authentic Mexican flavor of a cantina from the old days and the taste level of a contemporary bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, tequila and the mezcal being the most popular. When it comes to cocktails, the most requested are fruit-flavored margaritas, which are refreshing and absolutely delicious, or the versions made with mezcal, the mezcalitas. The bartender is Cristobál, who has over 15 years of experience on the job. He created and shared with us the recipe for a special festive drink, the Nochebuena (poinsettia) Martini, a sweet but bold drink that could be enjoyed on New Year’s Eve, either as an appetizer or digestive afterwards.

Cristobál resembles a spirited and cheerful apothecary, who can prescribe and make special mixes for his “patients.” You can ask him for a cocktail with your favorite ingredients or something special to soothe your stomach (or even expert advice for dealing with a hangover). La Veintiúnica is located at Jesús 21, right at the corner with Pila Seca. The bar is open from 2pm to 11pm or until 1am on weekends, closed Mondays (it is open through the holidays, too). If you happen to be in the area on a Friday or Saturday night, you might get to hear live mariachi music; follow the tune and arrive at this fun after-dinner destination.

Martini Nochebuena

(2 servings)

3 ounces of vodka
3 ounces of evaporated milk
2 ounces of strawberry extract
1 ounce cocoa liqueur
1 ounce of syrup


10 cherries
1 lemon

You will need a 15-ounce cocktail shaker and two martini glasses. The glasses should be cold, so you must pour a little water and ice on the glasses while making the cocktail and then discard the water. Put ice in the shaker, then pour the milk, strawberry extract, cocoa liqueur, the syrup and finally the vodka (the vodkas goes in last because it “cleans” what’s left in the bottom of the shaker and over the ice). Put the lid on the shaker and mix vigorously for about one minute and a half.

For decoration, cut a little slit in the cherries and arrange them around the edge of the glass. A twist of lemon peel in the center forms the center of the “poinsettia.” Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.

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