There is something different about today. It’s Monday, and Mondays are always a little strange. Maybe it’s those colorful flags intentionally draped between two monotone office buildings around the corner. It’s a nice pop of color. You nod approvingly and keep moving. Then as you pass by the Tex-Mex lunch spot, you glimpse some streamers just beyond the life-size cutout of the “Most Interesting Man in the World” promoting Dos Equis. Everything suddenly seems clear. The city is not promoting random acts of civil decoration; it’s Cinco de Mayo today and folks are getting ready for the big dance.
Traditionally we know what a Cinco de Mayo party looks like. You’re never never going to be too far from a Corona or Margarita, but we also know that there have been some significant advances in Tequila technology recently. We also know that Cinco de Mayo has deep cultural roots. So we turned to our resident mixologist Rob – aka Bob, aka Bob Box – to craft us a Cinco De Mayo cocktail to help us get a better grip on this holiday. The result is “The Battle of Puebla”. It’s a history lesson in a glass, and a great way to celebrate the moment.
For some context and perspective, it’s good to know a little more about Cinco de Mayo. It turns out that today is the celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, where Mexico fought and won an unlikely victory over the French in 1862. Why were the French fighting in Mexico? Apparently Mexico owed a lot of countries a lot of money, but due to its own wars, was nearly bankrupt and was unable to pay. So Napoleon sent an army to Mexico to make them pay up, but apparently some historians also think that Napoleon saw the concurrent American Civil War as the perfect time to establish a new French empire in Mexico by aiding the Confederacy in dismantling the Union. So, it appears that if Mexico hadn’t won the Battle of Puebla, US history might have been very, very different.
THE BATTLE OF PUEBLA
1.5 oz. repesado tequila
.75 oz. Campari
.75 oz. sweet vermouth ( we used Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
.5 oz. grapefruit juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake with ice.
3. Double-strain into a chilled coupe.
4. Smile. This drink tastes good.
If you’re looking for other seasonal drinks suitable for grown adults on this beer-and-tequila-shots kind of holiday, don’t forget about the Margarita, which you can make with equal parts (usually 1 oz.) tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Salt rim optional. Also check out the Michelada, or the Bloody Maria, which is a nice twist on your usual Bloody Mary with tequila in place of vodka.
Rob is part of our creative team. He takes great photos and designs real good too. He’s an all-around good ol’ boy from the Midwest, and we remind him of that fact daily. His blog, Bar on the Windowsill, features original drinks and playful twists on classic cocktails. Give it a holler when you have a moment.