We got the memo about Cinco de Mayo not really being Mexican Independence Day. But in Vegas (where National Tortilla Chip Day is kind of a big deal), we embrace the instinct to party whenever possible.
Cinco Tip No. 1: All margaritas are not created equal. Skunky spirits and cloying syrups are the unfortunate norm. Lucky for us, Cantina Laredo is on point with method, quality ingredients and that elusive balance of authentic and playful. Juicy watermelon and a pitcher that blends five spirits are festive options at the Tivoli Village hot spot, but the special Cinco menu’s star is the Tamarind Rita ($12.75).
Like “sweet, tart, spicy” tamarind candy, the cocktail has the pod-fruit’s earthy warmth. Shaken with Patrón silver tequila and orange liqueur, margarita mix and the smoky bite of chile limón spice, it’s lip-smacking and bright without hiding the tequila.
“It takes two traditional flavors that are 100 percent Mexican and puts them together,” corporate beverage director Nichelle Ritter says of her tamarind spin on the classic margarita. If a somewhat “gringo holiday” gives you an excuse to try it, we say: ¿Por qué no?
2 oz. Patrón Silver Tequila
1 oz. Patrón Citronge
2 oz. tamarind purée
2 oz. margarita mix (or 1 oz. each of simple syrup and fresh lime juice)
2 shakes chile limón spice mix (plus extra for rim)
lime wheel (for garnish)
Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a glass rimmed with salt or chile limón. Garnish with lime.