What To Drink Now: Cinco de Mayo Cocktails

Happy Cinco De Mayo, yes, you have survived stay-in-place quarantine, and for some, re-entry into the world, to make it to the 5th of May. What better reason than to have a cocktail? We are veering away from wine for the day, and mixing up cocktails for the occasion featuring our favorite tequilas as the holiday is thought to be a Mexican celebration. In reality, the day commemorates a victory for Mexico over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Sadly, the Mexican Army did lose the war, so the day isn’t as much of an occasion as it is in the US.

Weber Blue Agave plants in Jalisco, Tequila, Mexico

Jimadores, the men who harvest the agaves

We, in the United States, always want a reason to celebrate, and accordingly, have taken this holiday and made it our own, toasting the heritage and culture of Mexico. And, what says Mexico more than tequila. I had the opportunity to travel to Jalisco a few years ago with Tequila Patron for an eye-opening adventure moving through the life of an agave plant as it becomes tequila.

Visiting the fields, and watching the back-breaking process of harvesting the fruit and removing outer leaves to reveal the desired heart of the plant, the pina, to roasting, pressing (in modern and traditional methods), fermentation, distilling, aging, and finally, enjoying, the experience proved that tequila truly is one of the worlds finest luxury spirits. A spirit that, at the minimum, takes 8-9 years to create as the Weber Blue Agave plants must reach at least eight years old before they reach the sweetness and ripeness needed to produce tequila.

Weber Blue Agave pinas

Produced in the traditional method of baking the pinas in small brick ovens for even cooking, then crushing the fruit manually with a two-ton volcanic stone Tahona wheel and a roller mill, Roca Patron highlights the history and the sophistication of the spirit. Complex and textured, Roca Patron Reposado melds honey, orange peel, vanilla, ginger, and toasted oak, with richness and texture, adding character and depth to any classic cocktail.

Roca Patron Reposado Margarita
2 parts Roca Patron Reposado Tequila
1 part lime juice
1/2 part agave
Flake salt to rim the glass, if desired
Lime to garnish
Preparation: Add ice, tequila, lime, and agave to a shaker and shake until cold. Strain into a salt-rimmed, ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a lime.

Started in 1942, and branded Don Julio, Don Julio Tequila celebrates the vision and passion of founder Don Julio Gonzalez to create a premium version of the humble spirit Mexicans had been drinking in tall bottles, often hidden under tables, for generations. Don Julio wanted his liquor to be shared around the table, not hidden under tables, allowing friends the opportunity to enjoy, changing the bottle style to their signature shorter bottle. Produced in small batches from Weber Blue Agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, and aged 18-months in American oak barrels, Don Julio Agave is complex, well-defined, and distinct. Perfect sipped on its own, or added to cocktails ideal with brown spirits; i.e., if you are a Bourbon or Scotch drinker, try replacing your evening Manhattan or Old Fashioned with Don Julio Anejo Tequila.

Don Julio Anejo Old Fashioned
2 parts Don Julio Anejo Tequila
1/2 part simple syrup (or agave)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel for garnish
Preparation: Add all liquid ingredients to a rocks glass with one extra-large ice cube or ice sphere. Stir and garnish with an orange peel. If you are adventurous, carefully light a match, hold it under the outside of the orange peel, and heat lightly to help release the oils.

Copper stills for distilling small-batch tequila

Inspired by the courageous, ferocious Aztec people, known for their loyalty and fierce, passionate temperament, Pasote Tequila reveals an uncompromising character. With an artisan touch, produced from premium blue agave pinas, fermented using native yeasts only, and doubled distilled using rainwater and natural spring water, Pasote Blanco Tequila is a clean, pure, luxurious spirit. The spirit melding delicate white flowers, citrus notes with white pepper, making an ideal base when mixed with citrus juices or tropical fruits.

Pasote Smash
2 parts Pasote Blanco Tequila
4 Fresh Pineapple Chunks
1 part Lime Juice
1/2 part Agave Syrup
4 Mint Sprigs (1 for Garnish)
Preparation: Add Pasote blanco, pineapple chunks, mint, lime juice and agave syrup to a shaker tin. With a wooden spoon or muddler smash everything together. Add ice, cap with other side of tin, and shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds, double strain over ice cubes into a collins glass. Garnish with fresh mint and pineapple.

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