|¡Viva la Revolución, y'all!|
Cinco de Mayo, as it's observed in the US, is a sort of general celebration of Mexican heritage; it is not, as many would have you believe, the Mexican Independence Day. Rather, it's a commemoration of the French army's defeat at the hands of the Mexicans at Puebla in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
And this year, they each fall on Saturday, May 5th. At Derby Day parties throughout the country, a galling number of execrable mint juleps will be downed (and sometimes hauled back into the light of day) and inordinate amounts of tequila will be shot into (and out of) the drinking pubic. May 6th might as well be I'm Never Drinking Tequila Again Day.
Let' us leave behind the overdrinking occasioned by both and bind the holidays with a slightly more civilized glue: the tequila julep.
Tequila JulepYou're on your own for anything after the first.
2 oz reposado or añejo tequila
1 Tbl agave nectar OR 1-2 tsp rich simple sugar (made with 2 parts demerara sugar to 1 of water)
10-12 spearmint leaves, stripped from their stems
Sprig of mint
Muddle the mint gently with the syrup in the base of a julep cup or a short tumbler. Add the tequila and stir to combine. Top with crushed ice to fill the cup and form a short dome over the rim. Spank the mint against the palm or back of one hand (to help release its aroma), then insert the sprig through the ice into the drink. If using metal julep cups, allow the drink to rest undisturbed until its exterior is well frosted.
Serve either with short metal straws or plastic straws that have been trimmed to just an inch or so longer than the cup is tall — the idea is that drinkers will have to bury their noses in the fresh leaves while drinking and thus get a extra wallop of mint aroma.
Goes well with:
- The Maine Julep, Irvin S. Cobb's derisive, Kentuckicentric tirade against what passes for a julep in points north, including a "crowning atrocity" of allspice.