It’s Cinco de Mayo, one of my preferred holidays because it can arrive on any day of the week, occasioning an unscheduled and festive social hour, and yet it’s not as overblown as St. Patrick’s Day.
The holiday is barely noticed in Mexico, but that’s no reason one can’t make an event of it.
As a start, Happy Hours provides us with an overwritten portrait of the Margarita, the most interesting bit of which is the information that the Margarita is simply an evolution of the Side Car.
In other news, Samantha Bennett of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette considers the history of the day:
As you may not know any more about this Mexican holiday than can be printed on a promotional tent card in a bar, I will explain it briefly. It is often described as the Mexican version of Independence Day (what we know as Quatro de Julio), but like most things you hear from a guy who’s been knocking back Dos Equis all day, that’s not quite accurate.
In 1862, Mexico had stopped paying on a debt it owed to France, so France tried to repossess Mexico. The Mexicans did not care for being invaded, even though the French would have forever boosted the tourism industry by giving them Evian.
So the French landed at Corona and started marching toward Mexico City. They met strong resistance at the Mexican forts of Huevos Rancheros and Margarita and finally had their derrieres handed to them by a smaller, ill-equipped Mexican force under Gen. Jose Cuervo.
Hmm, now I’m hungry as well as thirsty.