Published on May 5th, 2013 | by Charu Suri2
For Cinco de Mayo, Celebrate with Unusual Margaritas
The city of Puebla may be known most for the symbolic defeat of the 8,000 strong French army on Cinco de Mayo, but it is also considered Mexico’s culinary heart. The significance of the Mexican victory over the French was gargantuan (they defeated what was considered the premier army in the world with an army half the size), and while many people mistake May Fifth for Mexico’s Independence Day, it is cause for celebration in a country that lives for festivity.
Although Puebla is very famous for its mole poblano, it’s hard to dispute that queen of the social drink, the margarita. Nowadays, margaritas come in so many flavors and shapes (check out New York City’s latest margarita innovations here) that having it the old fashioned way may be more vintage than the norm.
A frozen water melon margarita (photo credit: Flickr)
Here are a few that defy convention. Mix, sip and enjoy!
I’m most familiar with the $8 Happy Hour style margaritas, and certainly have had a killer combination of triple sec, lime juice and tequila, most notably in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (where else?). But The Cheeky Monkey justifies its $100 margarita, made with Tequila Don Julia Real (which retails for $375 per bottle), sea salt with black truffles and edible gold flakes, a Grand Marnier Cuvee Special Cent Cinquantenare and fresh-squeezed citrus lime juice.
If you have some spare mattress change to plunk down for this margarita, it is creamy and dreamy. The Cheeky Monkey hasn’t also arbitrarily jacked up its cocktail price, indicating that it must be sold “at fair market value.” Before the Cheeky Monkey came along, the world’s most expensive margarita was served at New York City’s Johnny Utah, which makes the “Vault,” retailing at $51.
The Jalapeno Cucumber Margarita
This could very well be the spice bowl of margaritas, and definitely a nod to Mexico’s obsession with jalapenos. Forbes reported in 2007 that this margarita was concocted by Texas chef Tim Love on that season’s Iron Chef with this margarita recipe that he developed pretty much off the cuff. A simple recipe involves tequila blanco (the unaged version), fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice, triple sec, a halved jalapeno and sliced cucumber. We cannot deny that this cocktail sounds mucho refreshing, especially after a dose of fresh-made salsa and nachos.
Watermelon Basil Margarita
This is very refreshing in the summer, and is fashioned of course, with fresh watermelon juice, watermelon schnapps, tequila and fresh basil, according to iVillage. Mexico is also very famous for their watermelons, and most locals add salt, lime and chile to the watermelon and eat it up, so a fusion of the watermelon margarita and the jalapeno version wouldn’t completely be out of place.
Nowadays, many upscale hotels from Washington’s Zola Hotel to The Hudson and Pierre in New York City all serve margaritas with a twist, including champagne versions. Sip, savor, celebrate. Cheers!