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¡Mira, Gringos! Cocktails To Celebrate Your Inner Green, Red and White

Pinata copy¡Mira, Gringos! Cocktails To Celebrate Your Inner Green, Red and White

Cinco de Mayo is a time for fiesta-loving gringos and Mexican-Americans to come together and celebrate Old World traditions, customs and freedom (in this case, the right to drink a boatload of tequila).

Nothing pairs better with a day of lakeside BBQ, impromptu fútbol matches and a piñata face-off than all-you-can-drink merrymaking. Here, ten of 24/7’s favorite celebratory sips, from our favorite wet bars and websites, perfect for preparing on the Fifth of May.

Carnivale copySmoky Bandit
(Makes 1 glass)
2 ozs. Illegal Mezcal Joven
½ oz. of pink guava purée
Float of Barritt’s ginger beer
Preparation: Muddle 3 medium slices of cucumber with 1 lemon segment. Strain and pour over ice in a rocks glass. Top with a float of ginger beer. Garnish with a guava slice and half rim of pimenton and salt mixture.

Courtesy of Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market. (312) 850-5005



Frontera GrillMexican Cosmo
(Makes 8 glasses)
2 cups silver tequila
1 cup Cointreau
¾ cup fresh lime juice
1 cup Jamaica Flower Cooler (see recipe below)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 lime for serving
Preparation: In a carafe or pitcher, combine the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, Jamaica Flower Cooler, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate if not serving within a few minutes. Set out a bucket full of ice and glasses (the drinks are strong, so serve them in 6-ounce martini glasses). Slice the lime into rounds (1 for each glass), then make a cut through each slice from the center through one spot on the rind to impale a lime round on the side of each glass as garnish. Scoop lime slices into a small serving bowl.

When ready to serve, fill a cocktail shaker about half full of ice and measure in about ½ cup of the cosmo mixture, then cover and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds to chill the drink and dissolve enough ice to bring the flavors into balance. Strain into a glass and serve.

Jamaica Flower Cooler
(Makes 2 quarts)
2 cups (2 ounces) dried jamaica “flowers”
1 ¼ cups sugar
Preparation: In a medium 3-quart stainless or enameled saucepan, bring 1 ½ quarts of water to a boil. Add the “flowers” and sugar. Stir for a minute or so, while the liquid returns to a boil and the sugar dissolves. Cover and let steep for at least an hour, but no more than 2. Pour the mixture through colander or strainer into a large bowl, pressing on the “flowers” to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir in 3 cups water.

This recipe makes a tart version of uga de jamaica so feel free to stir in more sugar. Store covered in the refrigerator in a noncorrosive container, preferably one that won’t strain.

Courtesy of Frontera Grill, 445 N. Clark Street. (312) 661-1434

Tippling BrosTippling Bros. Little Market Cocktail
(Makes 1 glass)
2 chunks pineapple, approximately 1½-inch cubes
1 ½ ozs. reposado tequila
1 oz. guajillo syrup (recipe below)
1 oz. lime juice
Preparation: Muddle pineapple in cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients. Shake over ice.

Guajillo Syrup
(Makes 4 cups)
4 cups simple syrup
3-4 guajillo chiles
Simple syrup preparation: In a pot, mix four parts sugar to four parts water. Boil until sugar dissolves.
Preparation: Warm simple syrup over medium heat. Break up chiles and add to syrup. Simmer 10 minutes, taste for heat, and let simmer for another 10 minutes if needed. When desired heat level is achieved, strain and refrigerate.

Courtesy of Little Market Brasserie, 10 E. Delaware Place. (312) 640-8141

Mercadito copy 2Chile en Nogada
(Makes 1 glass)
2 oz. reposado tequila
1 oz. poblano chile purée**
1 oz. lime juice
½ oz. Nux Alpina walnut liqueur
¼ oz. simple syrup
Purée preparation: Remove stems and seeds from two poblano chiles and cut into ½ pieces. Blend on high with ¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and ½ cup of water. Keep refrigerated in an airtight plastic or glass container. Will stay viable for 3 days.
Preparation: Shake all ingredients together with ice in a mixing tin. Strain over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass. For garnish, fill half of an empty walnut shell with a spoonful of pomegranate seeds and float on top of drink.

Courtesy of Mercadito, 108 W. Kinzie Street. (312) 329-9555

MercatEl Bolero Margarita
(Makes 1 glass)
½ oz. agave nectar
1 ½ ozs. reposado tequila
½ oz. Grand Marnier
fresh avocado, 2 slices
2 ozs. house made sour mix (see recipe below)
lime juice
sour syrup
jalepeno bitters
Sour mix preparation: Combine 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup water, and 1/3 cup sour syrup.
Preparation: Combine all ingredients. Shake until avocado dissolves. Pour into a margarita or rocks glass with ice and a salt and peppar rim. Add a dash of bitters on top and serve.

Courtesy of Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan Avenue. (312) 765-0524

Mexique copyHibiscus Flower Sangria
(Makes 4 glasses)
1 cup hibiscus flower glaze
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup orange liqueur
1 quart burgundy wine
3 cups 7-Up
Preparation: Mash a few sprigs of fresh mint and combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Add ice and stir. Pour into a large red wine glass and garnish with ice, diced jicama, oranges and limes.

Courtesy of Mexique, 1529 W. Chicago Avenue. (312) 850-0288


Nacional 27Mezcal~rita
(Makes 1 glass)
2 ozs. mezcal
1 oz. lime juice
½ oz. agave
½ oz. triple sec
Preparation: Mix all ingredients together, serve over ice in glass with salted rim, or strain into a chilled martini glass.

Courtesy of Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron Street. (312) 664-2727





Milagro Freshest MargaritaThe Freshest Margarita
(Makes 1 glass)
2 parts Milagro Silver tequila
¾ parts Milagro agave nectar
1 part fresh lime juice
Preparation: Combine all three ingredients in a shaker. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a thin lime wheel. Salt optional.

Courtesy of Milagro Tequila. Click HERE for website. 





Milagro VeracruzanaVeracruzana
(Makes 1 glass)
2 parts Milagro reposado tequila
¾ parts Milagro agave nectar
1 part fresh lime juice
4 pineapple chunks
2 basil leaves
Preparation: Muddle pineapple and basil leaves in a Boston shaker glass. Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish with pineapple and basil.

Courtesy of Milagro Tequila. Click HERE for website. 


Van GoghVan Gogh ‘Rita
(Makes 1 glass)
2 ozs. Van Gogh Blue triple wheat vodka
½ oz. triple sec
1 oz. sour mix
2 ozs. soda
2 wedges of lime
Preparation: Pour vodka and triple sec in a glass over ice. Top with sour mix and soda and garnish with two lime wedges.

Created by Morton’s Chicago mixologist, Mary Breclaw, for Van Gogh Vodka. Click HERE for website. 

Kerry Shorr, 24/7 Contributing Writer
Co-Founder, Luxe File Chicago

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