16 September

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Mexican Independence Day

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Mexico is a truly incredible country, and not just because they produce one of the world’s most complex and delicious spirits. From the green highlands which grow the agave to its more arid plains, Mexico is a country that its inhabitants have the right to feel proud of. September 16th is the day they express this. Forget Cinco de Mayo; this is Mexico’s true celebration of herself.

On the night of 15th September, the Mexican president will ceremoniously ring a bell and shout out the names of the heroes of the Mexican War of Independence and then yell "Viva Mexico!" three times from his palace balcony to kick off the celebrations for Mexican Independence Day on 16th September.

The 16th is a day of parades, marches, singing and music - and the run-up to a very big weekend. The War for Mexican Independence culminated in the 1881 ejection of the Spanish from what was then known as New Spain. The celebrations very much honour Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a local priest who began the revolution from a pulpit with his famous speech of the Grito de Delores on the 16th September. During the celebrations, statues in memory of Father Hidalgo are decorated with red, white, and green flowers, the colours of the Mexican flag.

In honour of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the heroes of the Mexican War of Independence and Mexico itself, we'll be raising a toast with the following tequila-based libations.

1. Amatitan Twist
Created in 2010 by Dave West of Jake's Bar, Leeds. The great taste of añejo tequila is mellowed and delicately flavoured with maraschino, chartreuse and grapefruit bitters.

2. La Perla
Adapted from a drink created in 2010 by Jacques Bezuidenhout, San Francisco. Dry salty sherry with dry salty tequila, sweetened with pear and cognac liqueur.

3. Farmer's Tan
Created in 2016 by Seth Brammer at Filament, Dallas, Texas, we love how chilli oil is spiked like a cherry on the surface of this drink.

4. Picador
This drink is exactly the same as a classically proportioned Margarita. It was published in W. J. Tarling's 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, 16 years before the first written reference to a Margarita. Conjecture suggests that this British recipe was copied by whichever American gave the Margarita its name.

5. Silk Stocking
We are indebted to Ryan Chetiyawardana who shared his recipe for this classic cocktail at The Cabinet Room during the finals of World Class 2009. It's incredibly smooth but still retains a tequlia bite and a hint of chocolate and fruit.

6. Tommy's Margarita
Created by Julio Bermejo and named after his family's Mexican restaurant and bar in San Francisco, the self-proclaimed "premier tequila bar on earth". Tomas and Elmy Bermejo set up Tommy's in 1965 and Julio is one of their five children, all of which are involved in what is truly a family business. Julio has become a legend in the drinks industry for the Tommy's Margarita and his knowledge of tequila. The flavour of agave is king in this simple Margarita, made without the traditional orange liqueur.

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