The Mexican War Of Independence from Spain lasted some 11 years from 16th September 1810 - 27th September 1821. So, why does Mexican Independence Day fall on the 16th September? Well, that was the date that the famed Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla yelled the infamous battle cry “El Grito De Dolores!” or ‘the cry of Dolores’, Dolores being the small town where he lived. Under the banner of Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, he inspired many people to follow him and begin the fight for independence.
Hidalgo’s attempt was unsuccessful. However, he did inspire another priest, José María Morelos, and this attempt was successful. The priest couldn't do it on his home, so he enlisted the help of Agustín de Iturbide, a Mexican military leader who defected from Spain. With this combined effort, the freedom fighters took Mexico City in February 1821 and declared national independence.
A plan was needed for an independent Mexico. Iturbide's plan established three key tenets of sovereign Mexico, independence from Spain, equality for Spaniards and Creoles within the country, a ban on all religions besides Roman Catholicism. Spanish Viceroy Juan de O’Donojú signed the Treaty of Cordoba on August 24, 1821, and this formally approved the plan for an independent Mexican monarchy. Considering this, we could say that the 24th of August is the day of independence. However, if it wasn't for that first battle cry, events would not have unfolded as they have. So, it is this date this is celebrated.
The day is celebrated across Mexico and by people of Mexican descent around the world. Independence Day in Mexico is celebrated with huge street parties and parades, with fireworks to rodeos to brass bands, mariachi performances to traditional folk dancing in the streets. A military march stomps through the streets of Mexico City to the memorial of Hidalgo.
On the evening of September 15, the Mexican president recreates "El Grito" in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands from the balcony of the National Palace and the audience chimes "Viva!" with every line.
Whilst we may not be in the sunny lands of Mexico, we can certainly celebrate this important part of history by raising our glasses with a traditional Mexican drink. At Your Drink Box, we have a new range of Mezcals in stock: Los Javis. Mezcal Los Javis is an artisanal spirit and the product of a longstanding family tradition. Hand-selected agave is roasted in a conical stone oven, tahona milled, and naturally fermented in wooden vats. Mezcal Los Javis is distilled in small copper pots and is individually bottled and hand numbered. These are incredible products and a must for any mezcal enthusiast. We have four in the range:
Espadin - £49 - Distilled with the popular Espadin agave, this tequila is an easy going 40% abv, a balance of fruit, vanilla and the beautiful smokiness of agave. Espadin is one of the most commonly used agaves and takes about 8-12 years to reach maturity.
Tobala - £98 - Distilled with the Tobaba variety of agave, this mezcal is a little stronger at 46.1% abv and has a wonderful profile of spice, creamy fruit and brown sugar. Tobala is a relatively small plant and takes 12-15 years to reach maturity. Tobala can also only grow from seed, as opposed to the pups over agave grow from the main plant. Due to these difficulties it is being used less, but does make a very aromatic mezcal.
Salmiana - £115 - Distilled with the Salmiana variety of agave, this mezcal steps up again at 47.9%. Salmiana agave is also known as the ‘green giant' and can take 25 years to reach maturity. It is left to rest in the field from 6 months to 2 years, which allows time for the plant to concentrate sugars before the harvest.
Jabali - £115 - Distiller with the Jabali variety of agave, this mezcal sits at 47.8%. Jabali is renowned as being a difficult agave to work with. There are stories to be found of the agave swelling and foaming and actually breaking the still as it explodes out of the top.
So, what’s the best way to imbibe these amazing mezcals. Well, the first thing is to sip it slowly! None of the ‘shooting’ that us brits love so much. For more detail on Mezcal and the best way to drink it, you can check out a previous article looking at the drink in more detail here. Otherwise, to get you started, think like a shooter, but slow. You still have your citrus and you still have your salt, but you take a slow, a little salt, a little sip, a little bit of citrus. Choose your favourite citrus for the job. I love orange. And as for salt? Well, we have a variety of traditional Mexican salts to make your drink the real deal. One of our favourites is Sal De Gusano, or ‘worm salt’, a traditional salt made using worms that live inside the agave plant.
And, for a limited time only we are offering 15% off, just enter the code MEZCAL15 at the checkout. Viva Mexico!