Cinco de Mayo Cocktails

Spice up your celebration with garden fresh chile- and fruit-infused drinks.

Gherkin Fresca Margarita

Cool cucumber-lime agua fresca balances out the jalapeno simple syrup in the Gherkin Fresca margarita.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Fuego Cocina y Tequileria

Image courtesy of Fuego Cocina y Tequileria

Cool cucumber-lime agua fresca balances out the jalapeno simple syrup in the Gherkin Fresca margarita.

Alfred Solis, executive chef at Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Arlington, Virginia, takes his Cinco de Mayo seriously: The Mexico City native grew up a short drive from Puebla, where the infamous battle between the Mexicans and French was fought. 

Solis' salsas, ceviches and Mexican street food favorites are infused with chiles and peppers like Anaheim, Cayenne and Hot Banana grown on a second-floor balcony outside his kitchen. They also make their way into the drinks that Scott Clime, wine and beverage director, concocts to complement the food. 

Add some spicy garden goodness to your Cinco de Mayo festivities this yea by replicating Clime's Gherkin Fresca margarita, a cool combo of tequila, gin, cucumber, lime agua fresca and jalapeno simple syrup. "We use Hendrix gin in the Gherkin Fresca since it's a classic, summery match with cucumbers," Clime says. "Both white liquors marry well, the cucumber adds earthiness and the jalapeno simple syrup gives it a nice heat." 

Clime's also featuring the Amor Prohibido margarita for the holiday, a thick red cocktail featuring seasonal strawberries two different ways—infused in tequila and as a puree. "The Amor Prohibido is made in a way where the alcohol is not the star of the drink, but an accent," Clime says. "The strawberry also adds a beautiful color, which makes it a visual treat as well."

Gherkin Fresca Margarita

  • 1 ounce cucumber-lime aqua fresca* 
  • 1.5 ounces Sauza Silver Tequila
  • .25 ounces Hendrix Gin
  • .25 ounce house-infused jalapeno simple syrup*

For garnish, cucumber sliced into wheels 

Build the cocktail in a rocks glass over ice and garnish with one or two cucumber wheels. 

For the Cucumber-Lime Aqua Fresca

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup water
  • .25 cup lime juice
  • .25 cup agave nectar or simple syrup 

Puree one cucumber with the water and pour through a fine strainer. Then add the lime juice and agave nectar or simple syrup. 

For the House-infused Jalapeno Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • .5 cups sugar
  • 2 jalapenos, with a small slit lengthwise   

Ensure that the jalapenos have a small slit lengthwise to allow oils to release during infusing process. Boil all of the ingredients together for 20 minutes. 

Amor Prohibido 

  • 1.5 ounces strawberry-infused tequila*
  • .5 ounce Triple Sec
  • .75 ounces agave nectar
  • 1 ounce strawberry puree*
  • 1 ounce lime juice

For garnish chile de arbor salt [blend of equal parts dried Arbor peppers and salt] 

Garnish lime wedge

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain and pour over ice into a specialty rocks glass that has been rimmed first with chile de arbor salt.  

For the Strawberry-Infused Tequila 

  • 6 strawberries, sliced 
  • 6 ounces tequila

Place sliced strawberries and tequila in a Mason jar, or a container that can be sealed tightly. Allow it to sit overnight or for at least three hours. 

For the Strawberry Puree

15-20 strawberries, fresh and pureed

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