5 Cinco De Mayo Cocktails: Recipes from New York's Most Famous Bartenders
The fifth of May was when the Mexican army defeated Napoleon III’s French soldiers during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It’s since become a major cause of celebration of all things Mexican and—let’s not pretend—a really good reason to drink.
To commemorate, we asked five New York bartenders to share with us their Cinco de Mayo concoctions, which, you can easily make at home:
APRICOT MARGARITA by Noah Small of Empellon
PHOTO COURTESY OF EMPELLON
"May marks the beginning of stone fruit season, as well as Cinco de Mayo. So with that in mind, we feature an Apricot Margarita. I start with Del Amigo mezcal, this is an expression of agave espadín from Oaxaca. The mezcal takes wonderfully to other flavors, asserting itself without becoming the star of the show. The apricot flavor comes from the combination of apricot nectar and Giffard Abricot du Roussillon liqueur. Those two ingredients bring the flavor of the flesh of the apricot. As a stone fruit, the sense of apricot is also delivered through the kernel found at the center of the pit. In fact most apricot liqueurs taste of this part of the fruit. To get this "sense" of apricot we atomize (spray) amaretto liqueur over the top of the finished cocktail. Amaretto is usually associated with almonds but in fact is made from 'bitter almond,' also known as apricot kernels. The drink is simply garnished with smoked salt."
1.5 oz. Del Amigo Mezcal
0.5 oz. Giffard Abricot du Roussillon
1.5 oz. Apricot Nectar
0.75 oz. 50-50 Mix of Fresh Lemon/Lime Juice
3 Sprays Amaretto Liqueur from an Atomizer
Combine All Ingredients(except amaretto). Shake and Strain Over Fresh Ice. Use a Large Rocks Glass. For garnish, half-rim smoked salt and three sprays of amaretto liqueur (atomizer).
LLAMARITA by Lynnette Marrero OF Llama Inn
PHOTO COURTESY OF LLAMA INN
"Using the panca pepper from Peru and our house quinoa orgeat, the Llamarita is a culinary cocktail that takes the margarita to a new place. The avocados are used cross culturally in both cuisines as is cinnamon. The mouth feel and texture is sublime with a hint of nutty sweetness from the orgeat."
0.75 oz Orgeat
0.75 oz Lime juice
0.5 oz Mezcal
1.5 oz Panca-infused reposado tequila
0.75 oz Avocado purée
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and strain into ice filled glass with a sea salt/ cinnamon rim.
FLOWER WARRIOR by Yana Volfson of Cosme and Atla
PHOTO JORDAN DIAZ
“Flower Warrior is named after the historical ‘Flower Wars’ the Aztecs use to have in Puebla with neighboring Tribes before it became a Hispanic City. It explores the relationship between Puebla flavors and French spirits and celebrates a marriage of history and culture beyond the excuse to party.”
1 bar spoon Giffards Creme de Cacoa
1.25 oz Leyenda Puebla
0.5 oz Ancho Verde
0.25 oz Dolin Blanc
0.75 oz Lime
Combine all ingredients in shaker and hard shake. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with edible flowers.
HELL ON WHEELS by Miguel Aranda of Boticarios
PHOTO MATT TAYLOR-GROSS
“Why is Mezcal better than Tequila in this Margarita? Sombra Mezcal distills Espadin agave for their Mezcal, which yields a lovely green vegetal aroma and flavor note that blends very well with all types of herbs, fruits and vegetables.”
2 oz Sombra Mezcal
0.5 oz Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
0.33 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz agave syrup
Several dashes habanero tincture
Place all the ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a habanero pepper.
HABANERO by Nico de Soto of Mace
PHOTO ETHAN SUGAR
"Inspired from [my] travels through Oaxaca, this cocktail celebrates the traditional Mexican flavors of corn, agave, and mole, and marries them with the smoky and peppery notes from mezcal and tequila."
1 oz Tequila
1 oz Mezcal
1 oz Corn Milk Albumine ( flavored eggwhite )
¾ oz Lime
¾ oz Mole agave
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake first, then shake with ice. Double strain into a coupette, garnish with a dust with just the lightest touch of habanero powder.
Cover: WGSS on WP