By Valerie Jarvie, Contributor
May 5 is Cinco de Mayo, the anniversary of the 1861 Battle of Puebla, in which the 3-to-1 outnumbered Mexican army defeated Napoleon’s troops attempting to capture Puebla de Los Angeles, an east-central Mexico town. The victory provided a much-needed morale boost to our southern neighbors. It’s now a day when Mexican culture and heritage is celebrated in the U.S. with festivals and parties. As such, it calls for regional libations. Margaritas? In this age of craft cocktails, a plain-Jane version seems, well frankly, boring.
Here’s a spirit to add some tasty style to your Cinco de Mayo celebration: Ancho Reyes Verde, a chile liqueur made with poblano chiles picked while green, and fire-roasted. The spirit became available in Texas just this spring.
[Disclosure: Ancho Reyes provided Valerie Jarvie with a complimentary sample of liqueur. The views expressed here are her own.]
The new liqueur follows Ancho Reyes’ first chile liqueur released in 2014, made with poblano peppers late-harvested and sun-dried (they’re known as ancho chiles once they’re dried). The original ancho chile spirit made quite a splash in bartending circles, working well in cocktails made with dark spirits. In contrast, the new version’s herbal brightness is just the right fit for margaritas, gimlets and daiquiris.
Here’s a recipe for a Cinco de Mayo margarita, made with Ancho Reyes Verde and its sister brand Milagro Silver tequila that demonstrates just how well it does:
Ancho Verde Margarita
1 part Milagro Silver tequila
1 part Ancho Reyes Verde, to taste
1 part fresh lime juice
1/3 part agave nectar, or to taste
Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice, shake hard and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass with half its rim salted. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Ancho Reyes Verde has a suggested retail price of $32.99 for a 750 milliliter bottle and is widely available.