Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, and this season we’ve been seeing many bartenders incorporating traditional Mexican fruits such as mangos, guava, and pineapple right into their uniquely delicious recipes, all in preparation for the big day.
The secret, they say, is the incredible friendliness tequila has towards tropical juices. The resulting gems from this wonderful team of pros genuinely capture the quintessential essence of the Mexican American holiday.
A Little Revisioned History
Today, we all celebrate Cinco de Mayo, way beyond Mexico, especially in the United States, where the holiday is sometimes confused with Mexican Independence Day (celebrated on September 16th). It is, nonetheless, a historically significant date as it marks the anniversary of one of the most important battles ever fought in continental North America. On May 5, 1862, the Battle of Puebla sent the French packing for a few years (they would come back, it turns out), and ever since, Mexicans and Americans alike began celebrating the holiday yearly. Today, it has evolved into a time to celebrate Mexican American customs, with great food, friends, and plenty of tequila to go around, of course.
Cinco, Mangos and Other Tropical Influences
Suppliers say that Mangos will be readily available this year for Cinco de Mayo, and that’s excellent news since demand tends to soar around this time of the year.
Mangos will find a way into your Cinco in one shape or another and speaking of which, here’s one curious point we learned from growers: This year, the fruit tends to be smaller in size, with the weather being a huge factor when it comes to quality. There are many different mangos out there, which come in different shapes and sizes, so experimenting with different varieties will likely yield completely different tasting profiles.
Mangos are widely used in Mexican cuisine and lend themselves to a few fantastic tequila-based recipes, some of which can be easy to replicate at home with the proper ingredients. Charity Johnson, a seasoned Beverage Director in Los Angeles, CA, shares a killer recipe with a signature rim salt modifier used in any agave-based recipe that calls for rimmed salt. The result is her signature Cinco Margarita riff using mangos, and matcha powder rim, a soft play on all five senses.
Here’s the recipe:
- Mango Margarita: Cinco! Drinko
- 2 oz Casa Mexico Tequila Blanco
- 1 oz Mango
- 1 oz Lime
- .75 oz Agave Matcha Salt Rim
Matcha Salt: Matcha Powder, Pink Salt spread over a rimming dish
Shake, pour over new ice in the salted matcha glass.
Pineapples, Pineapples Por Favor
At first, it may seem like a tough go, pairing grilled pineapples and tequila, but upon taking a closer look, you start to see that they are versatile and can be mixed into a lot of good stuff. Many contemporary drink recipes rely on the mouthfeel. The silkiness from pineapples can pass for egg whites into the base recipe, a hack that many bartenders rely on for presentation and unique textures. It’s the reason why Adhel Martinez, a bartender in Los Angeles, chooses to use muddled pineapples in her recipes. The grilling will eliminate the foamy stuff and leave you with only the purest nectar and a color palette that resembles pure gold.
Pineapples can be overpowering, though, so all three bartenders will agree that caution leads to better results. Whatever recipe you’re going with, they typically recommend that pineapples be used as a modifier more than a show-stopping main event in often equal proportions with other modifiers. Adhel likes heat, so she reached for the Chile Verde liqueur, which pairs exceptionally well with the tequila, the pineapple, and her signature Chili Guava Bitters.
- Chile Vargas
- 1.5 oz Casa Mexico Tequila
- .75 oz Ancho Reyes Verde
- .75 oz Lime
- Muddled Grilled pineapple
- Chili Guava Bitters
Don’t Forget Guava – the Passionate Pink Wonderful
Cocktails By Hawk
- 1 oz Casa Mexico Blanco
- 1 oz Rosé Vermouth
- 1 oz Guava juice
- .75 oz Lemon juice
- .5 oz Simple syrup
- Top with sparkling water
- Garnish with a strawberry and mint
Bartender star Cocktails By Hawk designed the Good Morning cocktail with simplicity in mind. Simple doesn’t mean mundane, though. It starts with guava, which can often be forgotten since it can be challenging to make much of anything.
But the earthy notes in the deep orange center, often paired with tequila, spells a GOOD TIME. The rose vermouth provides just enough body to make this recipe a winner in any Cinco de Mayo party. Long ball drinks with lower alcoholic content are an easy mix and can be perfect for a sunny day to enjoy by the pool. They are the ideal brunch companion for the mimosa-meh crowd, and the pink hue of the guava is made for sun rays.
Looking for more great cocktails for Cinco? Check out our latest blogs.