Cinco de Mayo is around the corner, and with it comes impossible-to-get reservations and expensive set menus just to get a taste of your favorite guac.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Not if you stock your kitchen now with the essentials for your very own May 5th fiesta.
Olmeca Altos Tequila was on hand this week for an intimate DIY event to help New York folks learn how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo right.
First, the tequila. Olmeca Altos 100% blue agave tequila served as the base for a range of cocktails (nope, not just margaritas). The favorite was the Fresca Picante (recipe below), but much fun was had learning to shake the traditional Tommy’s Margarita, made with the citrusy Altos Plata tequila, lime juice and agave nectar. It was delicious enough to forgo the salt rim.
Of course, food plays just as important a part in the Mexican festival as the booze, so learning to make ceviche, oysters and tacos was next on the list.
The ceviche recipe was a simple one: We mixed fluke with a teaspoon each of grapefruit, lime and orange juice, the acid from which, with a little stirring, quickly cooked the fish. We then mixed in salt, chopped red onion, cilantro and jalapeños and ate it with homemade tortilla chips and hot sauce (though some good ol’ Tostitos would work in a bind).
Next, we learned how to shuck oysters, which were served with a sour orange mignonette sauce.
The culinary highlight of the evening was, of course, the tacos. With the different fillings and toppings preassembled (the braised carnitas was a dream), we were given the chance to flatten balls of tortilla dough with a cast-iron press and fry our own tortillas. The dough was apparently easy to make, just a mix of tortilla flour, found in many of the city’s grocery stores, and water.
After a night of south-of-the-border fun and festivities, one thing was clear: with the right ingredients, a DIY Cinco de Mayo party is totally doable. Now go get those avocados ripening.
2 parts Altos Plata
3/4 part lime juice
1/2 part agave nectar
3 jalapeño slices
Muddle the strawberry in a shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients, ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with jalapeño slices.
Twisted Talk: What’s your fave tequila tipple? What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo? Discuss below!