SO TOMORROW IT IS THE FIFTH OF MAY, which is a pretty big deal if you are in Mexico -- although, to get a common misconception out of the way, it is not Mexican Independence Day (that falls on September 16). No, instead it is a celebration of the Battle of Puebla in 1862, which was a significant victory for the Mexicans against the occupying French army. By the way, had Mexico not defeated the French, it is widely assumed Napoleon III would have supported the Confederate side of the Civil War, which might have changed the course of history. So, unless you're one of those Americans who thinks the South should have won the War of Northern Aggression, you've got reason to celebrate Cinco de Mayo too.
So we'll be reaching for tequila tomorrow, instead of a shotgun and a Rebel Flag. We tend to prefer top shelf tequilas for these drinks, although it'll push the price sky high. Nonetheless, we're loathe to give up a good tequila. We recommend Patron, which has gotten quite popular later. We're also fans of Don Julio, Tres Generaciones, and Cabo Wabo, although we try to ignore that the latter is owned by Sammy Hagar. Lately we've been drinking a lot of Cielo, and find it agrees with us. Pick your own favorite tequila, and here are a few tequila cocktails to get you started:
2 ounces sweet-and-sour mix
1/2 ounces tequila
1 ounce melon liqueur
Mix all ingredients with ice in a shaker or blender. Serve in a chilled Margarita or cocktail glass, the rim of which has been dipped in salt. Garnish with basil as you would add mint to a mojito.
1-1/2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Mexican lime juice
1 serrano chile halved from top to bottom
Pour the tequila and lime juice into a small glass. Add salt, pepper, Maggi sauce and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Mix ingredients. Add one half of the serrano chile and one or two ice cubes. Use Blanco or Reposado tequila.
2 ounces tequila
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp powdered sugar
fill carbonated water
Shake well with cracked ice and strain into 12 ounce collins glass filled with ice cubes. Fill with carbonated water and stir. Decorate with a slice of lemon, orange and a cherry. Serve with a straw.
1-1/2 onces tequila
2 ounces lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Blend ingredients with crushed ice and strain into sour glass. Garnish with a red cherry. Use Añejo for a better taste.
1 1/2 oz white tequila
3/4 oz white creme de menthe
Shake well with ice, strain into large martini glass.(SPARBER)