Jewish Food

The Boozy Jew: Kosher Cinco De Mayo

You’re Jewish and want to celebrate Cinco De Mayo? Cool, here’s the best way how. Read More

By / May 4, 2011
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Cinco De Mayo, a holiday that at once celebrates Mexico’s victory over France, while at the same time forgetting to mention how short lived that victory was.  One year later, France regained its footing in Mexico and the struggle continued.  But leave it to Corona, Dos Equis and Jose Cuervo to gloss over those trivial details and bring us what many consider to be one of the best drinking holidays celebrated here in North America.

So in the spirit of loose reasons as an excuse to drink, I am going to cite Mexico City as having one of the largest populations of Jews in all of Latin American, and Diego de Montemayor, having founded Monterrey, Mexico’s second largest urban area, as excellent reasons to celebrate such an illustrious holiday in honor of our members of the tribe to the south.

While there are a number of beverages people choose to drink on this day, from overly sweet margaritas, to the watered down beer we have come to know as Corona, there is nothing I find as satisfying as Tequila, drank straight.

But just because I am advocating drinking tequila straight, doesn’t mean I am advocating drinking any old tequila straight.  Tequila is an incredible liquor, but so many people have an averse reaction to the stuff due to time spent in college taking shot after shot of the cheap crap and waking up the next morning with an unbearable hangover.  To avoid this hangover you should, of course, first stop drinking like an immature idiot and most importantly ONLY DRINK TEQUILA THAT IS 100% AGAVE.   If a Tequila is 100% agave, it will say it right on the front of the bottle, proudly.

I wrote that last point in caps because it is the biggest lesson you should take from this piece.  You see, there are 2 types of tequila, 100% Agave Tequila and Mixto Tequila.  Mixto Tequila is that stuff you used to drink in college, to be called Tequila it only needs to contain 51% Agave, so what’s the other 49%?  Filler Sugars.  Sugars make alcohol, and filler sugar, usually either syrups or even the white grains you use in your coffee, is what Mixtos use.  This filler sugar is what gives you that pounding headache in the front of your skull the next morning.

100% Agave Tequila is tequila distilled from the Agave plant, more specifically the heart of the plant, which is heated to remove the sap that contains the sugar needed to create alcohol, and then fermented and distilled.  After the Tequila is distilled to create alcohol, it can become one of three main categories: Blanco, an unaged Tequila that is bottled immediately after distillation; Reposado, Tequila that has been aged for more than 2 months, but no more than a year in an oak barrel; and Anejo, Tequila aged for 1 to 3 years in oak.

Blanco Tequila’s are best for either a shot with lime, or mixing into your favorite Tequila based drink, but I like Reposados and Anejos for sipping.  Anejos are so smooth you can drink them like a great scotch, and it’s a perfect way to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.  So head out to your local store, grab a 100% Agave tequila, and I promise you’ll have a great May 5.