Cinco de Mayo (Part I)

May 3, 2010 (Day 93) — Margarita

“Las armas nacionales se han cubierto de gloria.” (English: The national arms have been covered with glory) — Ignacio Zaragoza, 1862

And so, on May 5, 1862, did Mexican forces take victory of the French in the battle of Puebla. While not technically Mexico’s “Independence Day,” it is still a holiday that finds widespread celebration in my hometown. Dodge City is a minority majority town — meaning that the number of Hispanics in our community outstrips the number of Caucasians. Last time I saw any numbers it was something like 53 percent Hispanic population. So, naturally, Cinco de Mayo finds quite a few supporters here.

In fact, we just had our celebration yesterday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it down to the festivities, so I put in a call to one of my friends from the newspaper I used to work at. Thankfully, they were more than happy to let me use a couple photos.

Photo coypright Eric Swanson via

And some might say I’m taking the lazy way out, making a margarita for Cinco de Mayo. After all, there are countless other killer authentic options out there for drinks. If you’re a beer drinker, try out Model Especial or Model Negro — two excellent brews that I make the point of ordering when I go to one of our local Mexican joints. Pacifico is excellent as well. Truthfully, I’m not a huge fan of Corona, so I recommend staying away from that stuff.

I feel like I’m somewhat exonerated, however, as I’m making a Margarita on the rocks from scratch — not just dumping some shitty $10 tequila into a $5 store-bought mix. Not that it isn’t great for getting gooned in a pinch, mind you! But today — and most of the time on this site — we’re shooting for authenticity.

Photo copyright Eric Swanson via

Traditional Margarita:

3 oz  tequila (1800 Repasado)

1 1/2 oz orange-flavored liquor (Patron Cîtronge)

1 whole lime, squeezed

Crushed ice or ice cubes

Lime wedge, and salt

Combine your triple sec, lime juice and tequila in a cocktail shaker. Grate a small amount of lime zest and add it to the mixture. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice. Shake violently until cold. Pour into a rocks glass rimmed with sea salt (courser grain). Sip — preferably on a back porch somewhere.

This little beasty has a much stronger kick than those pre-made ones you’re going to get at the Mexican restaurant down the way. The tequila taste is very strong, and using the the Cîtronge, which has an earthier, less sweet taste than triple sec, gives it a solid flavor. The salt on the rim is definitely necessary, because it adds the right amount of salt to the citrus of the drink.

But be warned: it’s not for the faint of heart.

I approve. Now, admittedly, I’m not the world’s biggest tequila fan. I still think of taking tequila shots in downtown Beijing the summer of 2004. That was my first time tasting tequila. And it was my last for a while. But, I really do enjoy this drink. However, if you like a sweeter Margarita, you’re not going to like this recipe. Jenn wasn’t a big fan, as the tequila taste was very apparent. Here’s an adjusted recipe for those who perhaps don’t want as much of a kick.

Margarita (Wuss Version)

1 1/2 tequila

2 oz triple sec

1 whole lime, squeezed

1 whole lemon, squeezed

Shake together in a cocktail shaker and pour into a rocks glass rimmed with salt. Garnish with a lime.

This one met with more approval from the taste tester. Either way, you’re sure to have a delicious drink!

Buen provecho!

— Mark


  1. Haha I love the way the phrase “Shake violently until cold.” Remind me of those bartender’s facial expression when making my drinks, (or perhaps mine).

    Anyway, many thanks for your input on a lighter version of margarita, although I’d like to have sip or two with the traditional one.



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