In celebration of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday, we're giving you a full five days of recipes you can either enjoy at a local eatery or make at home, along with some basic information about Mexican foods and traditions you can use to wow your friends or future prey.
Let's start with some info about mezcal, a spirit produced mostly in Mexico and made from green agave. The traditional Oaxacan way to drink mezcal is "as a shot, with a side plate of fried larvae ground with chili peppers and salt and cut limes," according to Wikipedia, but we not-so-brave drinker/eaters pair it with ginger ale, energy drinks, cola, and even fruit juices; then we probably chase each sip with a Dorito and some salsa.
If you can pry yourself away from the local nacho neverlands this Cinco de Mayo, head to Mai Tardi in the Design District for an apple mezcaltini or Cafeina in Wynwood for the tropical splash. We know tequila and Coronas might be your typical go-to for the big day, but give these drinks a chance and let us know if they make your sombrero spin.
2 oz mezcal (Zignum Silver recommended)
2 oz DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
Directions: Place ice in cocktail shaker; add mezcal and schnapps. Shake vigorously. Serve mix in cold martini glass. Decorate with dill leaves.
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1 1/2 oz mezcal (Zignum Silver recommended)
1 oz strawberry purée
Directions: Muddle limes in a cocktail shaker. Add mezcal, strawberry purée, and cranberry and pineapple juices. Shake vigorously. Strain over ice in a rocks glass with sugar rim. Decorate with lemon wedge.