Celebrate Mexican Culture on Cinco De Mayo with Primo Margaritas — Salud!

Having a Cinco de Mayo celebration at home? Then celebrate this wonderful Mexican holiday with the authentic tequila from Mexico and leave the Jose for next for the “amateurs”!

For all the tequila connoisseurs out there this Cinco de Mayo, El Tesoro Platinum or Milagro Silver are good choices. Or splurge on a reposado tequila Remember, these are $30 to $50 bottles of tequila, so you don’t want to waste these on the ones that wouldn’t know the difference if the bottle was right in front of them. No Comprende!!! . Remember that “real” tequila is from Jalisco, Mexico. Then there is always “Mezcal” from Oaxaca. Ole! Arriba!

With the good stuff, you have to add good stuff to it. Like the “real” triple sec, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, a large plate of sea salt, as well as, a plate of sugar and a pitcher or two of fresh-squeezed orange juice, fresh lemon, lime and orange slices, a bowl of maraschino cherries with the cherry juice and fresh fruit for garnish. Some Perrier and Seven-Up should also be available. Take a lime wedge and rub all the way around the rim of the margarita glass, then turn upside-down and dip in a plate of sea salt, making sure that the rim is completely coated. Gently shake off the excess and set glasses aside. If someone prefers a sugarcoated rim for a sweeter drink, use the same method. All of this can be organized ahead of time. Crushed or shaved ice, an ice scoop, a cocktail shaker, a good selection of various cocktail glasses. I love having a separate Margarita station where you can get creative with the shaker. Also, having it all in one place makes it easier if someone wants to create his or her own signature Margarita.

Just a few tips to make you shine: I use the “counting method” to measure the tequila so you don’t look like an amateur mixologist. Use a slow 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 count (the slower the better) when pouring the tequila over ice in the shaker. Next, count out a normal 1 and 2 count for the Cointreau and a quick 1,2,3 count for the lime juice and top off with a splash of Perrier or 7-up and orange juice. Shake it up using old dance moves or juggling tricks, lol, and pour straight up into the prepared salted or sugared margarita glass, being careful not to disturb the rim and fill glass with fresh orange juice, the more on, the sweeter the drink. Garnish with fruit, a maraschino cherry, and a dash of the cherry juice, my own suggestion, I love the extra sweetness. Pour over ice or straight up, either way, they are “marveloso”. Hint: When using the counting method, do not count aloud. LOL And if you decide to mimic Tom Cruise in the movie “Cocktail”, never drop the shaker! Looks totally unprofessional and it will be a sticky mess, lol. Probably best if you just left that one alone. LOL

Whoever is doing the food will be busy with preparing fresh chips and salsa and guacamole, pans of enchiladas, fresh fruits and barbequed chicken, pork or steak. After dinner, to liven the party up again, pass around salted shot glasses filled with the reposed accompanied with a wedge of lemon or lime dipped in salt. Knock a couple of those back and within 4 minutes, the party will be back in full swing. Arriba!

Preparing the garnishes and mixers ahead and putting them in one general area lets you enjoy the party too instead of just working. When the food is ready and served in huge pans and bowls, Bring on the Margaritas!!!, sit down and toast Mexican culture for “Cinco de Mayo” with all of your guests, and save the clean-up for later. Salud!!!

A word to the wise: Stay at home or have a designated driver. Never Drink and Drive. Be Safe! Happy Cinco de Mayo 2011!