An unlikely military victory more than 150 years ago is always a good excuse for a celebration, and Cinco de Mayo is just that. Let us get you in the mood to join in the party with stunning tacos and tasty tequila from Olmeca Altos.
While the origins of Cinco de Mayo reach back to the defeat of the French Empire by the tiny Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on 5 May 1862, more recent years have seen it become synonymous with the celebration of American-Mexican culture.
During the 80s several American beer and wine companies saw it as a marketing opportunity. With promotion and advertising, it raised the popularity of Cinco de Mayo, with annual celebrations now being held around the world.
This colourful celebration brings together the spirit, the music and, arguably most importantly, the food and drink that enlivens Mexican culture – even if the reason for the party has been forgotten by many of the revellers.
Celebrations in 2021 will be more subdued, so here are two delicious recipes for partygoers to create and enjoy at home to get you in the mood. Both combine the fresh, authentic flavours of Mexico, are simple to create, and delicious to indulge in.
Altos Honey Margarita
Start with the margarita, a tequila-based cocktail but given a sweet twist with the addition of some honey. You’ll need…
- 50ml Altos Tequila
- 25ml honey water
- 1 fresh lime
- Cubed ice
- 10ml Ancho chilli sauce (optional)
Prepare the rim of the glass by squeezing a wedge of lime on to its outer edge, before dipping it in a dish of smoked sea salt. Create the honey water by dissolving 15ml (1 tbsp) honey in 15ml of boiling water, and place the resulting sweet honey water into a shaker Massage the lime between your hands to relax the fruit, then cut it in half and squeeze all of the juice into the shaker. Add the 50ml of Altos Plata tequila and, for an optional spicy kick, 10ml of Ancho chilli sauce.
Fill the shaker with cubed ice, seal the lid tight, and give the shaker a hard shake for 10 seconds or so. Strain the liquid into your cocktail glass, either over ice or neat if you prefer, and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Altos Cauliflower and Asparagus Tacos
- Pickling liquor
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1 bay leaf
- 150ml red wine vinegar
- 25g sugar
- 25ml Altos Plata tequila
- 2 shallots
- ½ cauliflower
- 2 tbsp spice rub
- 6 asparagus spears
- 1 corn on the cob
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 3 radishes
- 6 soft shell tacos
- Ancho chilli sauce
- 25g crispy onions
- Smoked salt
Thinly cut shallots into rings and place them into the pickling liquor for at least 30 minutes, and finely slice the radishes and set aside. Blend or finely chop the cauliflower until the pieces are roughly the size f rice grains, and add that to a hot pan with a tablespoon of oil. Stir fry for two minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to char, and then reduce to low heat and stir in the spice rub. Keep string for a minute or so until the spice mix becomes fragrant, and then season with smoked salt and remove from the heat.
Prepare the asparagus by removing 1cm from the root end, cutting the remainder into 3cm pieces and set aside. Remove the sweetcorn from the husk by running a sharp knife down the length of the corn, rotate and repeat until all the kernels have all been removed. Finely slice the garlic cloves.
Add the asparagus and sweetcorn to another hot pan with a tablespoon of oil and stir fry for four minutes or until charred. Add the garlic and stir fry for a further minute, before seasoning with smoked salt and remove from the heat.
To prepare your tacos, place a dry frying pan over high heat. Add the tacos one at a time and cook for 30 seconds on each side until char marks appear. To serve, place a tablespoon each of the cauliflower rice and the charred asparagus and sweetcorn mix into the centre of a taco. Top with radishes, pickled shallots and crispy onions. Add chilli sauce to taste, and you have tacos and tequila to die for.
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