Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column firing up the blender while donning our sombreros. For those of you who might be living under a rock, today is Cinco de Mayo. A day many dedicate to margaritas, guacamole, piñatas, and large brimmed hats. To give you a little history lesson the holiday commemorates an initial victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.A common misconception many Americans make is thinking that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually on September 16. In all reality, Cinco de Mayo has become a very “Americanized” holiday, and a paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture claims that the holiday is “virtually ignored in Mexico.”Cinco de Mayo is best recognized as a time to celebrate the culture and history of Mexico. Much like St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest and Chinese New Year, it’s a time to step back and celebrate the different cultures that make our country so diverse. Oh yea, and there always seems to be some drinking involved in all of those holidays. With that being said, we decided to do a little research on the amber colored liquid involved in many Cinco de Mayo celebrations. That’s right, your guessed it; Tequila. A quick Internet search showed us that Tequila has quite a fan base. Viva Tequila, is a website entirely dedicated to one of the top selling liquors in the world. Here they give some pretty good tips on how to become a Tequila connoisseur, or at the very least, how to drink it properly. So here it is, a lesson on how to drink Tequila, the “authentic” way: “Tequila is a fine and complex liquor and as such it must be sipped slowly. It should be served at room temperature, although some like it ice cold keeping a bottle in the freezer. Traditionally most people serve it in a “caballito”, a 2 ounce glass made exclusively for this purpose.The famous Riedel Glass Company from Austria has introduced a 6 3/4 oz Tequila glass. This company was the first to recognize the effect of the shape of a glass on perception and drinking pleasure of wines and alcoholic beverages.Riedel reports that “This elegant slender glass has a tall stem, meant to lift fine tequila to the level it deserves, to accord it the appreciation and respect of which it is worthy.”However, the traditional “caballito” still is the favorite glass to enjoy Blanco and Reposado. Añejo is preferably served in a snifter so that its aroma is fully appreciated.Blanco and Reposado may be accompanied by “sangrita” made of tomato and orange juice with salt and chile.The tequila shot with salt on one hand and a bite of lime is Hollywood stuff and few people drink it that way, mostly tourists. However, some people do put some lime juice in the tequila or bite the lime before sipping it. In many restaurants throughout Mexico they bring you a small tray with your favorite brand, a caballito with sangrita, salt and half a lime.It is a sound practice to order the waiter to bring the tequila bottle to your table and have it poured in front of you. Some places do not keep a fair stock of brands, but they might say they do and serve you something different than what you ordered.Choose the tequila that you like and enjoy it. There is really not a right way to drink, sip, or gulp tequila. Life is, after all, a matter of taste.”We out on this Monday, celebrating Cinco de Mayo the only way we know how, with a margarita.
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