The Essential Two Cocktails for the Derby de Cinco Weekend

To get through this gorgeous weekend, you’re going to need some supplies.
First of all, for most of us, this weekend’s holidays—Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby—are all about cultural appropriation, and for either one you’ll need the proper hat.

Then you need to check your bar supplies.

Today is Cinco de Mayo. No, I am not in favor of a wall separating tequila’s homeland from our less-than-United States. Yes, I know that C de M is not really a holiday in Mexico, just an American construct designed to sell beer and tequila to collegiate Americans. No, I am not collegiate. But I do like tequila and tequila cocktails, and any holiday that can be celebrated by drinking one I am totally in favor of.
In fact, I prefer holidays that come with drinks attached. This weekend, we have two. Lucky me.

So here is how to make a proper margarita.
For 2 margaritas:
Lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish
2 Tbsp. coarse salt for rims
4 ounces tequila (we like Vida Blanco)
2 ounces Cointreau
1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
squeeze of agave
Rub the rim of the glasses with a cut lime wedge; set aside. Put the tequila, liqueur, lime juice and agave into a cocktail shaker and shake it until it’s frosty. Pour into glasses. Put the leftovers in the freezer to keep cold until the second round.

If you don’t want to shake it up yourself, here are some places to celebrate:


Red Iguana

If for some reason you want to spend a lot of money, you can buy a $100 margarita at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

Saturday at 4:28 MDT is the start time for 143rd Run for the Roses. To watch the Kentucky Derby, even on TV, you should have a proper mint julep in your hand. Listen, rituals are important!

4-5 mint leaves
1 tsp. sugar
2 oz. Bourbon
Crushed ice
More mint for garnish

Use a silver or at least a metal glass if possible. Crush the mint in the bottom of the glass with the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the bourbon. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir. Garnish with more mint.

And you’re off!

Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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