May is loaded with reasons to eat, drink, and celebrate. Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day all fall in May. But today is Cinco de Mayo, the celebration of Mexican culture & heritage in the US. When Cinco de Mayo falls on a Friday, we just have to start the weekend off with margaritas!
Margaritas are the quintessential cocktail in Mexican restaurants throughout the US. They consist of tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice, often served with salt or sugar on the rim of the glass. It is a perfect combination of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Our go-to margarita recipe comes from friends of Kelly & Gilbert’s. Here’s the story, according to my son-in-law, Gilbert:
“It was a dark and stormy night. Our young and handsome protagonist (Gilbert, of course) had a twinkle in his eye… just kidding. Here is what I remember: Ted and I met when I worked for the College Advising Corps at a rural Pennsylvania high school. Ted, an insurance salesman at the time and a former high school principal, was very active in the community. Ted was volunteering at the school where I worked doing mock interviews with the Seniors. He and I hit it off and I sort-of invited myself over to his house. The first time I went over, he made a smoked brisket and margaritas. Both were FANTASTIC! I invited myself over a couple more times and eventually roped Kelly in, too. Ted’s original family recipe is for a frozen margarita, but we asked him for an on-the-rocks version to use as one of the 3 specialty drinks at our wedding reception. We spent a good portion of a wonderful night with Ted & Becky at their home, drinking lots of margaritas to perfect an on-the-rocks recipe. We added a little here, took a little away from there, and voilà, we had the perfect margarita.”
After that particular weekend, Kelly came home raving about Ted & Becky’s margaritas, so naturally, I asked for the recipe. Ted & Becky gladly shared it with us. The Mercado Margarita has become our standard margarita recipe and it is perfect for tonight’s Cinco de Mayo celebration!