Let’s toast to Cinco de Mayo! (with a Margarita and Mexican Martini recipe)

Even though Cinco de Mayo is a minor regional holiday in Mexico proper, its significance in the US isMargarita-pdphoto that of a major cultural celebration similar to St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest, or Chinese Lunar New Year1. Don’t confuse Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, with Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16th), however.  The 5th of May marks the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, where Mexican forces defeated French invaders seeking to install a French emperor of Mexico.

What does any of this have to do with Portland weddings? I just want to acknowledge the all-important Mexican-American contribution to the summer wedding menu: the Margarita. No matter what food is on the menu, a freshly-squeezed, hand-shaken Margarita lends an easy festivity to any wedding.

In honor of the holiday this week, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite Margarita recipes from Texas, as well as one of my favorite variants, the Mexican Martini. For both recipes, all your juices should be fresh-squeezed, and the tequila should be light or Silver. (I recommend Herradura or Patron.)

I did look for a local Margarita recipe in this month’s Cocktails issue of Portland Monthly, but unfortunately for us, the craft distillery revolution in Portland does not yet appear to be tackling tequila, probably because Agave isn’t available locally. (Anyone check the desert outside Bend?)

Classic Margarita

(from Texas Monthly Magazine)

1/2 ounce of Triple Sec (1 tablespoon)
1 ounce of fresh lime juice
1 1/2 ounces of light tequila

Directions: Shake with ice and strain into a glass rimmed with salt, or you can follow the full detailed directions for your perfect Margarita from the Texas Monthly article here.

Trudy’s Mexican Martini

(via Recipezaar, based on the classic offering by Trudy’s Tex-Mex Bar in Austin, Texas)

2 ounces tequila (I recommend a light or silver tequila, not reposado or anejo)
1 ounce Cointreau liqueur
1/2 ounce Sprite
1 ounce orange juice
juice of1/2 lime
Stuffed olives (either garlic- or pimento-) for garnish

Directions: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into glass rimmed with salt; garnish with stuffed olives on a toothpick.

Image courtesy Jon Sullivan.

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