I love Cinco de Mayo. Any holiday that is designed to make me crave a mouth-watering meal of Mexican food followed by a round (or several) of delicious margaritas is okay by me.
Once in a while, however, I prefer something other than the classic margarita. I’ve never been much of a fan of the strawberry margarita, and most flavored ’ritas tend to come from artificially flavored, overly sugared frozen mixes. Living in Arizona, I’ve recently discovered the prickly pear margarita, which offers a sweet, light flavor, perfect for those hot summer nights.
So what’s a girl to do if she wants to imbibe on Cinco de Mayo but isn’t up for a frou-frou frozen margarita or, gasp, doesn’t like tequila? I asked some of my friends in the beverage industry for their recommendations, and here’s what they came up with.
Berentzen Apple Guava Rita
Photo and recipe courtesy of Berentzen.
1½ oz. Berentzen Apple
1 oz. tequila
3 oz. guava nectar
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. Salt or sugar rim of margarita glass. Pour drink into glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Trianon.
1½ oz. Trianon Blanco tequila
1 oz. agave nectar
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
splash of orange liqueur
Add ingredients in a shaker; muddle cucumber slices. Add ice and shake. Rim glass with chili powder. Strain drink into glass. Garnish with cucumber slices.
Photo and recipe courtesy of CAMUS.
2 oz. CAMUS VS Elegance cognac
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. triple sec
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into glass. Garnish with lime slice and kumquat.
Created by Executive Chef Juan Pablo at the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya. Photo and recipe courtesy of the Belmond Maroma.
1½ oz. tequila blanco
1 oz. triple sec
Juice of 1 lemon
½ oz. X’tabentun*
Rub rim of margarita glass with lemon juice, dip rim in salt. Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into the salt-rimmed glass.
*X’tabentun is an anise and honey liquor made in Mexico’s Yucatán region.
Okay, so this last one isn’t a margarita. It’s not even trying to pretend that it’s a margarita. But I thought I’d include it for those who aren’t fans of the traditional margarita. Plus, the spicy flavor profile, combined with vanilla, lime, and cranberry, sounds like a perfect pairing for that tasty meal of enchiladas or cochinita pibil. Yum!
Created by Niccole Trzaska from The Liberty Bar in NYC. Photo and recipe courtesy of Sobieski.
1½ oz. Sobieski vodka
¼ oz. vanilla liqueur
¼ oz. lime juice
¼ oz. cranberry juice
Drizzle of Sriracha
Dash simple syrup
Slice of lime
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into martini. Garnish with lime.