May 04, 2012
By Scott P. Moore
Standard Staff Reporter
Cinco De Mayo is one of those holidays that is widely celebrated throughout the United States with many not realizing what the day is truly about. The popular belief here is it is the Mexican Independence Day, but the country celebrates that national holiday some four months later on September 16th. Cinco De Mayo, in fact, is a day celebrated in honor of Mexican heritage throughout the United States and in Mexico, honors the Battle of Puebla, which took place in 1862 when an outnumbered Mexican army of about 4,000 took down the powerful, invading French army of about 8,000 in one day.
Misinformed or not, people throughout the U.S. throw major parties using Mexican themed items and alcoholic beverages, as they always top the list of must-have items for the big celebration. If you are planning to throw a bash to honor the day, which luckily falls on a Saturday this year, get out the salsa and tortilla dipping chips and put a great amount of cervezas (beer) next to them.
To keep with the theme, the best options available are the most popular Mexican beers – Coronas and Dos Equis. Both are widely known for their smooth taste and even more well-known commercials. Because of their association with the country and popularity, these beers are an easy choice for a Cinco De Mayo party and can be picked up at most local supermarkets throughout our area. One additional choice that falls into the “beer” category is called michelada, which is an infusion of beer, tomato juice (or Clamato juice in some cases), lime juice and other assorted spices. While hard to find, Budwiser does make a canned version of this drink that is worth trying.
When it comes to Mexican alcoholic beverages, tequilas and tequila-based mixed drinks are popular among American party-goers. The popular margarita is widely accepted as a regular drink of choice for Mexican-themed celebrations, especially with so many different flavored mixes. To keep with the theme, key limes, native to Mexico, are the perfect addition to these drinks for guests.
Tequila, like all liquors, has several different brands with many qualities that make them better for large crowds or small gatherings.
“Camarena is a great buy and great value,” said Liquor and Wine Warehouse “tequila expert” Phil Piscitello. “They have a silver and red respado – great for shots and mixing. A great margarita tequila.”
On the high end, Piscitello suggested Don Julio Anejo and Milagro Barrel Select as the top choices for “sipping tequilas,” rather than for mixing.
“Jose Cuervo La Familia is really expensive at $124.99 a bottle, but its is Extra-Añejo,” or highly aged tequila, he said, and has a really great taste.
Most supermarkets and liquor shops carry margarita mixes, which takes the guesswork out of making the perfect party drink. As always when it comes to drinking and partying, stay safe and don’t drive after consumption but have fun on this festive holiday.
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