Mint margarita: Toast both the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo
Two of Denver's best occasions for drinking -- the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo -- will collide on Saturday, May 5. The traditional drink of the Derby is the mint julep, of course, and margaritas are always flowing during Cinco de Mayo.
Mint "margarita" -- really.
But rather than have to declare your alcohol allegiance, it's possible to combine the cocktails of these two unofficial holidays -- if you don't mind a major culture clash -- and toast them with a Mint Margarita.
There are numerous mint margarita recipes; this one comes from the August 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine:
Fresh Mint Margaritas
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 cups crushed ice
1 1/2 cups good-quality tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 8 limes)
1 cup Triple Sec
In the bottom of a large (2-quart) pitcher, crush together mint and salt, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon. Add ice. Add tequila, lime juice, and Triple Sec, stirring vigorously. Serve in short tumblers or wineglasses.
Optional: Try to use the leaves of mint "margarita," a perennial in the mentha species that officially merges the two traditions.