For most people, Cinco de Mayo is the day we drink margaritas, wear sombreros and eat Mexican food, but the date has real significance. Contrary to popular belief, May 5 is not Mexico’s Independence da. In fact, in Mexico, the day is trivial and not a big deal. May 5th was the date the Mexican army in 1862 achieved victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). Why has May 5th become so huge in the States? Chicano activists in the 1960s celebrated the win over the French in the US, which spawned into a festive day in which we enjoy Mexican culture and heritage. As you celebrate, make sure you have these essentials; great beers and tequila.

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Nothing says Mexican culture like a great Mexican beer and quality tequila. There are plenty of options, some very popular, others not as much but the quality is still there. This May 5th, make sure you keep these three beers and tequilas in mind: Olmeca Altos, Tres Agaves and Blue Nectar, Corona, ##Dos Equis and Modelo. These drinks are essential to a gathering in the backyard or going to your favorite bar on #Cinco De Mayo.

These Beers make your May 5th even better

It’s a Mexican thing on May 5th, so having #Mexican Beer is all that matters. The king of the Mexican beer is Corona, Corona is the go-to Mexican beer and this year Corona Extra is unveiling a new limited edition can (first time ever). The “Summer Beach” can will be available nationally beginning early May through the Summer while supplies last!.

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Dos Equis and their “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign has taken over in the last couple of years and this year they have a new man as well as a new contest -- Win A Trip To The Brewery. Every day leading up to Cinco de Mayo, folks nationwide have the chance to win daily prizes and a grand prize trip to Mexico, including an exclusive tour of the Dos Equis Brewery.

Modelo has steadily become one of the most popular beers in the country. Modelo Negra (Modelo Black) has risen to the top of the dark beer chain, especially for those who have an affinity for whiskey and its robust taste.

Cinco de Mayo tequilas

Olmeca Altos tequila comes in Plata (silver), reposado, and añejo. This tequila is pure quality and although it's not as popular as some others. Don’t sleep on it as it's won tons of awards and its made with 100% agave. If you see at a liquor store or bar, cop it.

Tres Agaves has blanco, reposado, and añejo.Tres Agaves is another sleeper, made from 100% agave, each variant has its own style, the reposado is creamy with a subtle but great vanilla taste and their anejo has a similar profile to whiskey.

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If you see Tres agaves, cop it.

Blue Nectar produces in silver, reposado extra blend, reposado special craft, and añejo. New to the tequila island, BN is part of a new wave of craft tequilas similar to whiskey, where the focus is on high quality and taste. One of my favorite tequilas, BN is smooth and it does not disappoint.

Beer mixed with tequila makes for an exceptional cocktail

Beer with tequila is still a very new concept, but because it’s Cinco de Mayo, it’s only right that we combine the two powerhouses:

Mexicali Beer Margaritas via Allrecipes

12 oz limeade concentrate

1.5 oz cups gold tequila (reposado or añejo)

36 oz Mexican beer (dos equis, corona or modelo)

1 whole lime (cut into 6 wedges) garnish

Coupe de Ville via chowhound

6 oz añejo tequila (chilled)

6 oz lime juice (freshly squeezed, from about 4 medium limes, chilled)

6 oz orange juice (freshly squeezed, from about 2 medium oranges, chilled)

3 oz orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier, chilled)

72 oz Mexican beer (light, such as Dos Equis or Corona, chilled)

Modelo Calavera Recipe by Ariel Mason, Austin

3 oz Modelo Especial

1.5 oz. Reposado Tequila

1 oz. Simple Syrup

.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Salt

Chili Powder

Lime

Method: Combine tequila, simple syrup, lime juice and ice in a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into the glass and top with Modelo Especial