Cinco de Mayo Isn’t a Big Deal in Mexico

While Cinco de Mayo is celebrated enthusiastically in the U.S., it isn’t much of a holiday in Mexico. So it’s really an excuse for Americans to get drunk.


I have no problem with that. Just don’t put the lime into the Corona bottle. Squeeze it in and then throw the rind away. Yes Mexicans love lime in beer, but you’ll never see one stick it into the bottle.

Although they do enjoy micheladas, bizarre mixtures of beer, tomato juice, hot sauce, and lime – like a beer Bloody Mary. And like for Bloody Marys, you can find wild ones – fruit flavored, extra spicy, black with bitter British sauce. I even got good ones in Mexico City that had shrimp.

So what is Cinco de Mayo? I don’t know, some battle or something, definitely not Mexican Independence Day. Mexican Independence day is celebrated on September 16, and that’s a party.

If you really want to know about Cinco de Mayo, look at Wikipedia. I mean, I could do it and rewrite the info here, pretending like I actually remembered, but why?

I do have the day off, though only because I work at a public university and they are generous with the vacation days. Almost everyone had last Thursday off, because it was Worker’s Day. So, rather than Monday, a lot of people got Friday to make a 4-day weekend.

Regardless of its relevance, if Cinco de Mayo means you’re going to party, I’ve got some suggestions:

If you want to drink Mexican style but not tequila shots, which can be a little strong, and not Margaritas, which aren’t really Mexican, you can try a Paloma:



1/3 tequila

2/3 squirt

One key lime (ping-pong ball size), squeezed in

Salt on the rim (before you put in the ice, get the rim wet and dip it in a dish of salt)

Some of the better, affordable tequilas:





Cheaper but acceptable:

El Jimador


and of course Jose Cuervo, which is fine

There are three grades of tequila:

Añejo – the oldest, darkest, and best

Reposado – your common, light brown tequila

Blanco – totally clear, can be very tasty

tequila distillery

Or you can make Aguas Locas. I have my own version:

Aguas Locas (de lujo)


1/3 dark rum (look for Flor de Caña, a good Nicaraguan rum)

A good splash of Malibu rum

2/3 Orange “water”

aguas locas

In Mexico, aguas de sabores (flavored waters), usually just called aguas, are basically diluted juice.

For orange, squeeze 4-6 fresh oranges and then put in twice as much water, a few spoons of sugar (to taste), and a little salt.

You can do it with lime too. (Adding more salt creates a homemade Gatorade, by the way.)

Enjoy! If you want to drink beer, yes Corona is good, but for a better lager, try Bohemia. For dark beer, look for Negra Modelo or Victoria.

And remember, if you are interested in Mexican culture, come visit Mexico. Eating tacos, doing tequila shooters, and wearing funny hats on a hyped-up holiday doesn’t count.

About Ted Campbell

U.S./Canadian writer, translator and professor in Mexico. Travel stories and practical tips on my blog No Hay Bronca: // Twitter: @NoHayBroncaBlog // Contact: nohaybroncablog (at)

Posted on May 5, 2014, in Mexico and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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