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Cinco de Mayo 2021 | The best tequila cocktails

We're raising a toast to the vibrant Mexican culture this Cinco de Mayo with these tequila cocktails. Now all we need is the tacos... 

Cinco de Mayo | Espolon tequila's Grand Margarita

We've never needed an excuse to drink tequila and eat tacos, but all the same: If there ever were a day to celebrate Mexican culture, Cinco de Mayo is it. 

Before we go any further, we need to tell you about Cinco de Mayo. So make yourself one of the tequila cocktails below, sit yourself down, and get ready for a history lesson. 

Taking place every year on May 5, the day commemorates the date of the Mexican army's victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Following the Mexican Civil War, Mexican President Benito Juárez Garcia didn't have enough dollars to make repayments on Mexican debts to foreign governments.

Mexico was then invaded by the Brits, Spain and France, who sought repayment of their outstanding debts. The British and Spain signed treaties with Mexico and happily returned home. 

The tricky French Emperor Napoleon III, however, did not withdraw, and engaged Mexican troops in a battle near the city of Puebla. But the joke was on him: Napoleon's forces were defeated and withdrew from the area. The battle was a large morale boost for Mexico, which had fewer soldiers and military resources than France.

Four days later, President Juarez said that the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla would become a national holiday. Despite this declaration, Cinco de Mayo is, er, not an official Mexican holiday — but is celebrated in many parts of the U.S., including California, where there are large Mexican populations. 

Today, May 5 is given over to celebrating Mexican cultural identity and promote community. Which means, tacos and tequila (and you can read even more about Mexico's tequila heritage); parades and parties; and so much more.

So if you want to raise a toast to an unexpected Mexican victory, we've got five tequila cocktails that'll suit pretty nicely...

Espolòn Tequila's grand margarita

The flavours of Espolòn's award-winning 100 per cent blue weber agave tequila sing in this simple, classic margarita recipe.

Makes 1

Preparation time 5

Espolòn Tequila makes for one cool addition to your bar cart thanks to its artistic label — not to mention the fact that it tastes pretty darn great, too. The brand's vibe was inspired by revolutionary Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada who inspired new ways of thinking thanks to his ground-breaking politically charged art.

So what better way to raise a toast to Cinco de Mayo? Espolòn's maestro tequilero Cirilo Oropeza has more than 50 years experience, crafting the spirit out of award-winning, hand-harvested 100 per cent blue weber agave, and by trying it in a margarita you're paying homage to its flavours.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz Espolon Tequila
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ oz agave nectar or simple syrup (optional)

Method

  1. Salt the rim of a rocks glass.
  2. Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake over ice.
  3. Strain into the rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lime and enjoy.

Espolòn Tequila's espaloma cocktail

Classic Mexican cocktail, the paloma uses grapefruit juice to make a longer, more fruity take on a margarita. Did someone say day drinking?

Cinco de Mayo | Espolon tequila's Espaloma

Makes 1

Preparation time 5 mins

Paloma is Spanish for "dove." We're not entirely sure how that relates to this delightfully fizzy drink. But we are sure that the paloma makes a strong contender for your go-to brunch cocktail, thanks to a killer combination of bubbles, fresh fruit flavours and, erm, tequila. And maybe it might a good hangover cure, too... ?

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Espolòn Tequila
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • 4 oz grapefruit soda

Method

  1. Salt the rim of a highball glass.
  2. Add ice and combine all ingredients. Stir.
  3. Garnish with lime.

Hornitos Tequila margarita

The margarita is a classic, but everyone has their own twist. Stalwart tequila brand Hornitos shares their recipe.

Cinco de Mayo | Hornitos Tequila margarita

Makes 1

Preparation time 5 mins

This margarita recipe is one for purists, as it's made without the usual addition of orange liqueur. Agave syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness (and means it's lower GI, so it's basically a health drink, right?). 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz Hornitos Reposado Tequila
  • 1 ½ oz agave syrup
  • 3 oz lime juice

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake.
  2. Strain into a margarita glass over ice (salt rim optional).
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Hornitos Tequila Jalisco tea

Your morning cuppa just got a seriously boozy upgrade, thanks to this tricked-out recipe from Hornitos Tequila.

Cinco de Mayo | Hornitos Tequila Jalisco tea cocktail

Makes 1

Now, we love a margarita as much as (if not more than) the next person. We basically rely on them for vitamin C and, you know, to ward off scurvy. 

But tequila is made for more than margaritas. And that's where this Jalisco tea from Hornitos Tequila comes in. Hornitos Tequila was born in the 1950s, so it's seen a fair few things, and it's not afraid to shake things up. 

Here, iced tea is used to soften tequila's punchier notes, while peach schnapps adds a hint of sweetness. 

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Hornitos Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps Liqueur 
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Iced tea to top
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Method

  1. Add tequila, peach schnapps, lemon juice and simple syrup to a collins glass with ice.
  2. Top with iced tea and gently stir.
  3. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Hornitos Mexican mule

Ginger, lime, tequila: a holy trinity of flavours come together in a distinctly Mexican take on the classic vodka cocktail.

Cinco de Mayo | Hornitos Tequila Mexican Mule

Makes 1

Preparation time 5 mins

From Russia with love: the moscow mule gets a Mexican twist in this fiery take on an old favourite. Ginger beer, Hornitos Plata tequila and lime juice make for one hell of a ménage à trois. Copper mug not essential, but encouraged.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Hornitos Plata Tequila
  • 2 oz ginger beer
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a copper mug over ice.
  2. Garnish with a fresh wedge of lime.
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