Non-naturalized Cinco de Mayo recipes 

Avocado Margarita image courtesy Aldacos website
  • Avocado margarita image courtesy Aldaco's website
My Twitter friend Matt asked me what there was to do around Indy for Cinco de Mayo. I said nothin’. And I’m sticking to it.

Sure, you can spill over the sides of La Piedad’s deck, drinking crappy Corona and eating desiccated fajitas, or you can go to Adobo and maybe get some drink specials on a weirdly spiced Michelada or the same old Mexican import beer. But remember, the Mexicans objected to French colonization, not necessarily their good taste.

Honestly, you’re better off having your own party. And not with the same ol’ margaritas, either. It’s time y’all learned how to make some other Mexican drinks.

So here are a couple of recipes I’ve gleaned from South American cooking stars. First up: Iliana de la Vega, the local foods champion and thus Alice Waters of Mexico City, now a teacher of the Culinary Institute of American in San Antonio. Her Cocktail Donaji is a traditional recipe long enjoyed in her native country.

The less traditional recipe comes from Blanca Aldaco, a dear friend of mine. Born in Jalisco, the birthplace of tequila, she owns some smashingly successful restaurants in Texas. Don’t green at the sound of an avocado margarita; it’s sweet, but not cloyingly so. More like a margarita milkshake.


Cocktail Donají
Iliana de la Vega
Serves 1

1 sal de gusanitos (chile and worms flavored salt; Saraga might have)
1 oz. of mezcal
2 oz. freshly squeezed Orange Juice
½ oz. Grenadine
1 oz. slice orange

Frost the rim of a Margarita or martini glass with the sal de gusanitos. Mix the mezcal with the orange juice. Reserve. Place ice cubes in glass, and pour the mescal-orange mixture to the top of the ice. Carefully add the grenadine to the glass (this should go to the bottom).

Garnish with orange slice.


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Jennifer Litz

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