Cinco de Mayo originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, but as some think, Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day — which is celebrated on September 16.
So, whatever you are doing to celebrate, it’s always an excuse for a margarita. However, I NEVER need an excuse to drink tequila, which is my go-to drink. I drink margaritas year-round and the recipe changes but lately I’ve been making this spicy version, my “Picanté de la Casa”… you can use any kind of tequila you like. I drink Cuervo regularly but if I have the cash, in the past I would drink Patron. Recently, I went to a Don Julio tasting at SoHo House in LA and I was schooled in what makes good tequila and Don Julio really is one of the best. Whatever you use, you’ll need lime juice. I used it bottled. Near my house upstate, the grocery store sells “Nellie & Joes Famous Key West Lime Juice” which I’m assuming people buy to make Key Lime pies, as fresh Key Limes are not readily available. You probably don’t have access to key lime juice, so you can use any lime juice. People say fresh is better – and it is – but not 1000%, so… I’ve also been using this Polar Orange Dry, which is like combining seltzer and orange juice so if you don’t have Polar, combine those. You need a jalapeño, ice and a shot glass.
Wow’s Picanté de la Casa
1 1/2 shots of tequila
1/2 shot of lime juice
1-2 shots of orange juice and seltzer combined
half a jalapeño
Put the ice in the glass (if you want these straight up, follow the same instructions using a shaker) along with a halved jalapeño. Add tequila, lime juice, orange and seltzer. Done. You can make a pitcher just use the same ratio and a small glass instead of a shot glass. “Salud!”