Bottoms Up — September 16, 2013 at 10:45 am

Mexican Independence Day Cocktails & More

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In the wake of geopolitical turmoil and international protests, man has struggled since our creation to achieve a better life. History is taught to remind us of past mistakes and strives we’ve taken in time, but most importantly it’s for celebration and commemoration. On September 16, 1810 the “El Grito de la Independencia” or “Cry of Independence” was heard. The small town of Delores was the first to decree their separation from the Castile Empire. In the wake of the 188th year anniversary a lot can be said for the mutual support of Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos, and Amerindians alike, sharing a peasant ideology of greater autonomy from their foreign government. With that being said it’s time to enjoy the beginning of fall and fear the smell of winter.

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15th to October 15th each year in recognition of the many important historical figures in Latin American culture. Although pop culture usually gets most of the attention among the youth’s acknowledgment, I think it’s far more important to recognize pioneering figures such as Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, Sonia Sotomayor, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Hector Lavoe. Through art, music, politics or exploration, these are just some of the myriad amount of individuals that deserve celebration during Hispanic Heritage Month. Almost 70% of Latin Americans living in America list Mexico as their country of origin. In keeping with the tradition of Mexico’s independence why not celebrate with one of its original spirits…..tequila!!

Produced from the blue agave plant, tequila is a distilled beverage with a content sticker being anywhere from 30-55% alcohol. The first record of its production comes from the 16th century, sometime before the establishment of the city by the same name. The conquistadors learned how to make this indigenous brew from the Aztecs. During the Spaniards’ conquests, most of the men drank brandy, but when supplies shortened they turned to new ingredients — one being octli. Tequila had a major economic and historical impact especially for Spain, with the Curevo family being one of the first to receive a proper brewing license from King Carlos IV in 1608. When I think of tequila I do usually get a chill through my back, like that of a grave walker. Although I’m more friendly with his smokey cousin mezcal, just when I think we’ve broken apart, tequila comes back into my life. As a huge lover for Latin American cuisine, as well as Mexican or Tex-Mex, it’s important to have some great food to snack on while throwing back the fire water.

If you’d like to get your week started right, why not take a stroll to Maya and celebrate Mexican Independence Day there. The introduction of their 1st Annual Guacamole Festival is a great opportunity to try some regional varieties and highlighted flavors. Richard Sandoval does an excellent job at his establishment with combining Mexican cuisine with some subtle nuances. The restaurant will begin the celebration Monday September 16th through the 30th, with some delicious $6 margaritas from 3pm-close and the $14 Guacamole Tostada Sampler plate. The plate includes a Baja, Pacifico, and Sur variety of guac. Even with a tight budget this is a great place to check out and dine in. Grab a drink, throw a shot and chow on tapas, but most importantly remember what you’re celebrating and share in the heritage, beauty, tradition, and customs of everything Latin. Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria is located at 1191 First Avenue (between 64th & 65th Street). For reservations or more information please call (212) 585-1818 or visit www.richardsandoval.com

Maya isn’t the only hot spot dishing out specials in honor of Mexican Independence Day. Head to Manhattan’s only ‘Smoked Texican’ eatery, Tres Carnes, for its signature Tres Sangria, made with blood oranges, hibiscus and Vino Tinto. The celebratory drink will be offered through September 22nd. Feel free to pair your refreshing sangria with the restaurant’s Smashed & Smoky Guacamole & Chips at half price, or their mouthwatering 16-hour smoked Brisket Burrito!

Now onto the good stuff! Mix up your very own Mexican Independence Day cocktail with some of our great recipes below!

El Padre_Original

Hornitos El Padre (Courtesy of Hornitos Tequila) 
1 part Hornitos Plata Tequila
2 parts Lemonade
3-4 dashes of green hot sauce
Salt/smoked paprika rim
 
Rim shot glass with salt and smoked paprika. Mix chilled lemonade, chilled Hornitos Plata and hot sauce in mixing glass and pour into shot glass.
Sangrita

The Freshest Sangrita (Courtesy of JP De Loera, Milagro Tequila)
4 parts fresh lime juice
4 parts grapefruit juice
8 parts grenadine
3 red serrano peppers

Cut serrano peppers in half and remove and veins, seeds or stems. Blend the halves with remaining ingredients and allow pepper infusion to steep for 2-3 hours. Strain and pour into four separate shooter glasses.

Sauza_Sparkling Mexican Madras
Sauza Sparkling Mexican Madras (Courtesy of Sauza Tequila)
2 parts Sauza Sparkling Wild Berry Margarita
2 parts orange juice
3 parts cranberry juice
Lime wedge
Build over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim.
Sangrita

El Vocho (Courtesy of JP De Loera, Milagro Tequila)
4 parts Milagro Reposado
4 parts Dole Pineapple Juice (tinned)
10 mint leaves
10 cilantro leaves
1 small jalapeno slice

In four shooter glasses, pour reposado neat. Blend all other ingredients together. Strain and pour into four separate shooter glasses.

Sauza_BloodyMaria

Sauza Bloody Maria (Courtesy of Sauza Tequila)
1 1/2 parts Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
7 parts Tomato Juice
3 grinds Fresh Black Pepper
1 squeeze of Siracha Chili Sauce
Lemon Juice
Several dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
1 dash of Celery Salt
1 dash of Paprika
1 dash of Cumin
In a shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Shake well and pour into a tall glass over ice, with or without salt. Garnish with a lime and olives. (Serves 6)

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