It is the fifth of May, and for many Americans, and increasingly Latino communities around the world, it is a day to celebrate Mexican pride, culture and heritage, by drinking salty pools of Margarita and eating tacos.
The day itself is understood by many to be the Mexican Independence day, which is actually celebrated of September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of a great battle, between 4000 Mexicans and 8000 well equipped Frenchmen, who hadn’t been beaten in more than 50 years. It is a holiday observed only in the state of Puebla, where the battle occurred.
This historical nonsense aside, it is a great excuse to cook Mexican food and drink Tequila. Which I’ll certainly be doing tonight.
The Cuervo Margarita.
The easiest to produce of all the pantheon of tequila cocktails.
Take 30mls of any of the Cuervo family of tequila’s, add 90mls of Cuervo Margarita Mix, shake over ice and strain into a ice filled rocks glass with a salted rim (if you like*).
A Better Margarita
This requires a bottle of Grand Marnier and a few seconds more to produce.
Take 30mls of a 100% agave tequila, like Cuervo Tradicional, and 60mls freshly squeezed lime juice, 15mls Grand Marnier, shake over ice and strain into a ice filled rocks glass with a salted rim (if you like*).
A masterpiece of simplicity that features the character of different tequilas brilliantly. From Tommy’s in San Fran.
Take 60mls 100% agave tequila, at Tommy’s they use Arete, I suggest trying a range of different products and making your own call, 30mls freshly squeezed lime juice and 30mls agave syrup (try a wholefoods store, if you haven’t seen this before.) shake over ice and strain into a ice filled rocks glass with a salted rim (if you like*).
The Billionaire’s Margarita
Follow the directions for the better margarita, but use Reserva de Familia and Grand Marnier Cuvee De Centenaire. Should only be attempted with a healthy bank balance.
Not strictly a Margarita, but at least a cousin. Replace the Grand Marnier with Apricot Brandy, and, as evidenced in the last one of these Dr Phil at Eau de Vie made me, try this drink with Calle 23 Blanco.
The Sixth Margarita
Having made it home and discovered both somewhat surprisingly that Jose Cuervo’s recipe is far too light on the tequila for my tastes, and somewhat unsurprisingly that a bottle of Cuvee de Centenaire had not magically appeared in my cabinet so I made the drink in the picture.
*A note of salting the rim, I think this practice came from a time when tequila often contained hydrogen sulfide and the salt and citrus combo neutralised both the chemical and its rotten egg scent, not really essential in a world of quality industrial production. Really a matter of personal taste.