How to "Celebrate" Cinco De Mayo Without Being an Asshole

By Nick Stropko

Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Today is Cinco de Mayo. Put away your goddamn sombrero.

Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862, really isn’t that big of a deal in Mexico. (It is, however, a super interesting David vs. Goliath story—maybe you should read its Wikipedia page?) It has, however, morphed over the years from a celebration of Chicano culture in the United States to a booze-soaked trainwreck.

Now, am I saying you shouldn’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Absolutely not. Considering the tepid state of Mexican-American relations right now, I’d say we need all the celebrating of Mexican culture we can get. However, I suggest you think for a couple seconds before busting out your Cuervo Gold (also, word to the wise—Cuervo Gold is made from only 51% agave, making it more or less tequila-flavored vodka...gross). This Cinco de Mayo, why not go celebrate at a Mexican-owned restaurant? South Philly Barbacoa is the best, works tirelessly to support the rights of immigrants, and since its largely-Mexican clientele probably doesn’t give a shit that it’s Cinco de Mayo, it shouldn’t be too busy. If you really want to get crazy, go buy some chapulines (roasted grasshoppers), which I’ve spotted at Puebla Meat Market. Tortilleria San Roman has the best chips and salsa in Philadelphia, and they’re crazy nice to boot.

The point being, we’re lucky enough to have a vibrant, thriving Mexican community in Philadelphia. This Cinco de Mayo, let’s celebrate them.

And now, for your obligatory margarita recipe:


  • 2 ¼ oz tequila (blanco gives it a more bracing, tequila forward flavor, while reposado is a little mellower—pretty much any decent tequila, like Espolon, Hornitos, or Cazadores will do)

  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

  • ⅓ oz agave nectar

  • ⅓ oz Cointreau (optional)

Mix all your ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Pour into your desired vessel with more ice, then place your sombrero in a trash receptacle.