The 'Fifth of May' refers to the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla and is celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States. This day honors the military victory in 1862 over the French. While the fighting continued and the French army was not driven out of Mexico for another five years, the victory at Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination. If you'd like to read more about the Battle of Puebla, you can do so here and here.
So why do we drink margaritas? There actually isn't a good reason other than the beverage is a staple in Mexican (and American) drinking culture. It's pretty much what every human associates with Cinco de Mayo, providing us with the perfect excuse to get our tequila on for la celebración!
Our good buddy and bartender Zac Clements mixed us up their og margarita which was de-lish!! Minero's version consists of blending Reposado and Anejo tequilla (more on that later), two parts fresh orange juice, one part fresh lime juice and a splash of orange curacao.
Once we thoroughly enjoyed our margarita, we sat down with Minero Charleston's General Manager Pam Berry who helped answer all of our burning questions regarding margaritas and tequila.
Rewined: Let's start off pretty simple - what's the different between silver and gold tequila?
Pam Berry: Gold is.... not good. Gold tequila is pretty much using a caramel coloring to make it gold. It's typically pretty inexpensive, but I wouldn't recommend it. Blanco, Reposado and Anejo are the three tequila types you'll want to stick to.
[We told you there'd be more on this later! If you'd like some knowledge to spill at your Cinco de Mayo party, read here about the differences between these three tequilas.]
Rewined: Got it! Between the three, is there a preference?
Pam Berry: It's really up to you! At Minero, we use a blend of Reposado and Anejo. It's a really nice combination of smooth, almost nutty caramel notes that don't overpower the fresh citrus.
Rewined: Would you recommend one over the other for tequila shots? Asking for a friend...
Pam Berry: I would say silver (Blanco); Reposado and Anejo are aged longer and typically have a smoother finish so I'd say those are more of a sipping tequila, but if you're trying to do shots I'd say you can use whatever really! It's your preference.
Rewined: Our most important question is, does one tequila give you less of a hangover than another?
Pam Berry: Yes - you should only be drinking 100% agave tequila; That's where the misconception that tequila is gross and bad and gives you horrible hangovers and that happens when you're not drinking the right variety. To be considered a tequila in the US, it only has to be 51% agave, the rest is just fillers and that's the case with a lot of the cheaper tequilas (she means really cheap) you're using and that's what gives you the headaches. Your hangover is coming from all of the sugar in the mixes!
Rewined: Have you ever had a really annoying margarita request?
Pam Berry: I'd have to say the most frustrating is the skinny margarita, not because people are ordering them but because our version IS the skinny version! We don't use any pre-made mix, it's all fresh juice. The mix is what's giving you those extra calories and Minero's margarita is naturally sweetened by using agave syrup which is low calorie.
Rewined: What is your favorite a-typical margarita?
Pam Berry: I love a spicy margarita. Minero uses a house hot sauce which is absolutely delicious. Our chef makes a huge batch every few months and we add that in our regular margarita but any variety of spicy whether it is hot sauce or jalepeño is just a nice balance to the tequila and the citrus. I also love a mezcal margarita; It's the sister to tequila and makes a perfect smokier version.
Rewined: What food do you think pairs best with tequila or margaritas?
Pam Berry: TACOS! I love our fish tacos - paired with a cold margarita it's the perfect combination in my book.
Rewined: What is the most interesting fact about tequila you know?
Pam Berry: Oh wow - I guess it's just that they are very diverse. Because of where they are grown, and the region where they come from, the aging process, it makes each variety just a little bit different. So to have your different brands that you enjoy and to have one preference over another is because they are pretty unique. They all use the same agave plant, the blue agave if they are traditional, but they take on different flavor profiles depending on how long they are aged, the style they are fermented and distilled. I feel like everybody thinks tequila all just tastes the same, but it doesn't!
Rewined: Oh wow! I guess that it could be somewhat compared to wine - different regions that produce the same varietal will all be slightly different.
Pam Berry: Absolutely!
Rewined: What's your favorite song about tequila?
Pam Berry: There's gotta be a Jimmy Buffett song about margaritas, right? Margaritaville!!
Rewined: I saw you had a chance to smell our Margarita candle. How do you think we did?
Pam Berry: I think it's great! Super fresh and citrusy, a little sweet on the nose. I really love it!
Thank you so much to Minero Charleston for letting us takeover their bar. If you're looking for the perfect place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, they've got you covered. From cocktails and mezcal and tequila to yummy guac and fish tacos, you won't regret it.
Don't forget to check out our Margarita candle from The Cocktail Collection! With notes of agave, citrus and orange blossom, it's the next best thing to the actual drink!