tres leches cocktail

Growing up in Bakersfield, I really learned to love Mexican food. If you’ve never been, it’s largely a chain restaurant city. Heck, many companies even use it for a testing ground for their new concepts (in chain restaurants). The one exception? All of the amazing Mexican restaurants. Just about everywhere you look, there are small mom-and-pop joints that serve the greatest Mexican food you’ve ever had (until you have it somewhere else, then you’ll swear that’s the best). Thanks to that, when it comes around Cinco de Mayo time, I’m always a little bit excited (mostly for the food excuses). This year, Alice and I decided to try something different; this year our cocktail of choice to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is a Tres Leches Martini!

Oh yes, you read that right. Tres Leches Martini. Every year when April rolls around, I start getting some mean tres leches urges — thereby proving some nurture over nature, because while Denmark has amazing baked goods, tres leches isn’t one of them. However, I don’t always want to have to bake a cake to get my fix (especially when our oven currently doesn’t work in the traditional sense), sometimes, it’s nice to drink your tres leeches.

add condensed milk

To start, we decided to go as tres as we could: we did the full three with cream, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk (or as I always called it growing up “canned milk”).

Next, I had to think up what flavors would work in a cocktail, so I figured some rum would be a nice compliment to the flavors we already had working. After some testing, it was a little overpowering, so we reduced the rum and added some vodka. This is a martini after all; it should have a kick.

With those ingredients set, I knew we needed a little extra flavor punch, so we included a splash of vanilla. Once we tried it, the flavor was almost perfect, but it was missing one key ingredient: a sexy garnish.

mount gay rum

Confession: probably my favorite drink is horchata.

Hence, with the flavors we already had knocking around, bingo bango, add some cinnamon to garnish (along with a vanilla bean) and you have a cocktail that not only tastes like a tres leches cake, but also with a slight homage to horchata.

(Oh, yeah, so I know there’s a Tres Leches Liqueur out there, and I’m sure it’s good, but I’ve never tried it. In fact, I’d never even inspected it until I was writing this. That’s when I discovered they add rum to theirs too. It must be good, great minds and all that.)

add ingredients to boston shakergarnish with cinnamon

So, if on Cinco de Mayo you want something other than a Margarita (never a bad choice) or a Quarter Miler (come on, a Corona cocktail), give a Tres Leches Martini a try.

Now, let’s get our Tres Leches Martini going!

tres leches martini

Servings: 1


  • 1 oz. cream
  • 1 oz. evaporated milk
  • 3 oz. condensed milk
  • 1 oz. rum
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla bean
  • Glass type: coupe


  1. Add all your milks, rum, vodka and splash of vanilla to your shaker with ice.
  2. Shake.
  3. Shake more.
  4. Just a little more.
  5. You need some extra creaminess you see.
  6. Stop.
  7. Get excited about impending glory.
  8. Pour into your coupe.
  9. Dust with cinnamon.
  10. Delicately place vanilla bean across the top.
  11. Sip.
  12. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo.