Cinco De Mayo is observed on May 5th, the clue is in the name!
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on Thursday, May 5 in 2022, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day.
And no, it’s not the same as Mexican Independence Day, which falls on September 16th. If you want to find out about that one, you can find out more here!
We hope you had a good Cinco De Mayo and in the theme, we wanted to tell you a little bit about mezcal.
You my have noticed that agave spirits have been enjoying a spot in the limelight. The awareness and interest has been growing steadily in recent years and has been sped up by a rise celebrating backed brands, and the drink is now more often featured on UK bar lists which is educating consumers.
It’s taken the UK a little time to become more comfortable with agave, due to Tequila’s party boy reputation in the drinks world. For a long time, tequila was available as a shooter and often recalled as the regrettable last drink of the night for many, and with that came negative connotations.
The reality is, mezcal is a drink that takes a long time to make, with quality ingredients, and is often steeped in history, with families making the drink and ties going back for generations. With this in mind, production is not a simple thing and it can be very costly, especially depending on what agave it's made with as some take longer to grow than others. When drinking a good mezcal, its not to be wasted by chucking it back like a shooter. Citrus and salt may well be present, but it’s a totally different affair, with sweet oranges often used, rather than tart, face wincing lemon or lime. And the salt is often flavoured with local bugs such as crickets, worms or hibiscus. The same routine of salt, mezcal, citrus is followed, but with small sips of each, in a gentle cycle that you work round slowly until you’re done.
The main difference between mezcal and tequila is the plant. Whilst tequila is limited to the blue weber agave, mezcal can be made with a range of different agaves and this immediately opens up a huge potential to flavour profiles, and mezcals can offer a lot more than the smoky character they’re prized for. The smoky character mostly comes from the production process, where the heart, or pina, is smoked in a pit, before being crushed for fermentation, but there are plenty of other flavours to be found in a good mezcal.
Other than appreciating the drink neat, there are some great drinks to be made with mezcal. One of my favourites is the humble paloma, a simple mix of mezcal, lime and agave syrup, topped with grapefruit juice and soda. Grapefruit works incredible well with agave spirits and a paloma is a fantastically simple drink that is bright and refreshing, perfect for hot weather.
Head to our site for a whole host of mezcals and mezcal accessories in honour of Cinco De Mayo. The date may have passed, but we are just getting into the warmer weather and there is never a better time to get into mezcal.