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6 Non-Margarita Drinks to Enjoy on Cinco de Mayo

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Tired of celebrating Cinco de Mayo with yet another margarita? Try these popular Mexican drinks, which go beyond lime and tequila.

1. LA PALOMA

If you don’t want to veer too far way away from the margarita, la paloma (which means "dove") is the drink for you: The refreshing beverage, which consists of tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime, even calls for salt on the rim. According to one theory, the drink is named after a popular folk song from the 1860s; another says it was named after "Cucurrucucu Paloma," a 1950s song written by Tomás Méndez and originally performed by Pedro Infante. No matter how it got its name, la paloma remains one of the most popular cocktails in Mexico. You can find a recipe here.

2. TEPACHE

Next time you eat a pineapple, save the rind, which you can use to make tepache. To make this traditional Mexican drink, throw the rind in a pot with piloncillo (unrefined sugar), some spices, and water; bring to a boil, then simmer; add ripe pineapple chunks; and let the whole concoction ferment for a few days. For a more alcoholic version, you then add a beer, wait a little longer, and enjoy. Tepache has its roots in the nahuatl word tapiatl, which means “drink made from corn”—the original base for this drink. You can find a recipe here.

3. MICHELADA

Sometimes referred to as the Mexican Bloody Mary, this drink is traditionally made with beer, lime, and various spices, and nowadays frequently features tomato juice as well. Depending on where you’re drinking it, it may also contain clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, or Maggi seasoning. The Michelada may be named after Michel Esper, who created it at a bar, or Augusto Michel, a general in the Mexican Revolution who put hot sauce in his troops' beer. (In 2005, however, the owner of a michelada mix manufacturer claimed that he made up the Augusto Michel story to “add mystique to our product.”) But the most popular explanation is that Michelada is a combination of mi (my), chela (beer), and helada (iced): "my cold beer." You can find a recipe here.

4. TEJUINO

The precise origin of this fermented corn drink is unknown, but it dates back to pre-Columbian times and is usually associated with the state of Colima. And yes, it is fermented from the same corn dough (Masa) used to make tortillas. By boiling the dough with water and piloncillo until it's a thick liquid, vendors create a drink with either low or nonexistent alcohol content. It is frequently served on the streets of Colima combined with lime juice in a plastic cup or simply a bag with a straw in it.

5. PULQUE

This ancient yeasty beverage, made from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave plant), was popular in Mexico until the Spanish brought another yeasty drink over from Europe. Pulque was used in many ceremonies and the sap from the plant was believed to be the blood of the goddess Mayahuel. (One of the key differences between pulque and the other two famous agave drinks, tequila and mezcal, is that pulque is never distilled, and is instead left to ferment in fermentation houses known as tinacales.) Sour and yeast-like, pulque declined in popularity after beer came onto the scene, but it's recently enjoyed something of a comeback. You can find out how to make it yourself here.

6. COLONCHE

This bright red drink has been made in Mexico for thousands of years using the fermented prickly pear found on the cacti of the Opuntia genus mixed with sugar. It's made wherever nopal (the Mexican Spanish term for the plant) is abundant.

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History
84 Years Ago Today: Goodbye Prohibition!
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
Keystone/Getty Images

It was 84 years ago today that the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the earlier Amendment that declared the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol illegal in the United States. Prohibition was over! Booze that had been illegal for 13 years was suddenly legal again, and our long national nightmare was finally over.


A giant barrel of beer, part of a demonstration against prohibition in America.
Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

Prohibition of alcohol was not a popular doctrine. It turned formerly law-abiding citizens into criminals. It overwhelmed police with enforcement duties and gave rise to organized crime. In cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis, the dismantling of breweries left thousands of people unemployed.


Photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Homemade alcohol was often dangerous and some people died from drinking it. Some turned to Sterno or industrial alcohol, which was dangerous and sometimes poisoned by the government to discourage drinking. State and federal governments were spending a lot of money on enforcement, while missing out on taxes from alcohol.


New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (right) watches agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of Prohibition.

The midterm elections of 1930 saw the majority in Congress switch from Republican to Democratic, signaling a shift in public opinion about Prohibition as well as concerns about the depressed economy. Franklin Roosevelt, who urged repeal, was elected president in 1932. The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution was proposed by Congress in February of 1933, the sole purpose of which was to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment establishing Prohibition.


American men guarding their private beer brewing hide-out, during Prohibition.
Keystone/Getty Images

With passage of the Constitutional Amendment to repeal Prohibition a foregone conclusion, a huge number of businessmen lined up at the Board of Health offices in New York in April of 1933 to apply for liquor licenses to be issued as soon as the repeal was ratified.

The Amendment was ratified by the states by the mechanism of special state ratifying conventions instead of state legislatures. Many states ratified the repeal as soon as conventions could be organized. The ratifications by the required two-thirds of the states was achieved on December 5, 1933, when conventions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah agreed to repeal Prohibition through the Amendment.


Workmen unloading crates of beer stacked at a New York brewery shortly after the repeal of Prohibition.
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A brewery warehouse in New York stacked crates past the ceiling to satisfy a thirsty nation after the repeal of Prohibition.


Keystone/Getty Images

Liquor wouldn't officially be legal until December 15th, but Americans celebrated openly anyway, and in most places, law enforcement officials let them.

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Courtesy New District
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Food
Say ‘Cheers’ to the Holidays With This 24-Bottle Wine Advent Calendar
Courtesy New District
Courtesy New District

This year, eschew your one-tiny-chocolate-a-day Advent calendar and count down to Christmas the boozy way. An article on the Georgia Straight tipped us off to New District’s annual wine Advent calendars, featuring 24 full-size bottles.

Each bottle of red, white, or sparkling wine is hand-picked by the company’s wine director, with selections from nine different countries. Should you be super picky, you can even order yourself a custom calendar, though that will likely add to the already-high price point. The basic 24-bottle order costs $999 (in Canadian dollars), and if you want to upgrade from cardboard boxes to pine, that will run you $100 more.

If you can’t quite handle 24 bottles (or $999), the company is introducing a 12-bottle version this year, too. For $500, you get 12 reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines from various unnamed “elite wine regions.”

With both products, each bottle is numbered, so you know exactly what you should be drinking every day if you really want to be a stickler for the Advent schedule. Whether you opt for 12 or 24 bottles, the price works out to about $42 per bottle, which is somewhere in between the “I buy all my wines based on what’s on sale at Trader Joe’s” level and “I am a master sommelier” status.

If you want to drink yourself through the holiday season, act now. To make sure you receive your shipment before December 1, you’ll need to order by November 20. Get it here.

[h/t the Georgia Straight]

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