Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this Traditional Mexican Mocktail
Cinco de Mayo—the fifth of May—honors the date of the Mexican Army’s 1862 underdog victory over France in the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.
The day is celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla, but is not a federal holiday and is not widely celebrated throughout the rest of the country.
In America, Cinco de Mayo is commonly mistaken for Mexican Independence Day, which was actually declared over 50 years prior to the Battle of Puebla. Mexico officially gained its independence from the Spanish colonial government on September 16, 1810.
So why is Cinco de Mayo so widely celebrated by Mexico’s northern neighbors? According to historians, Mexican-American civil rights activists raised awareness of the holiday in the 1960s because it symbolized Mexico’s liberation from foreign aggressors. Cinco de Mayo became a day where Mexican-American immigrants could encourage pride in their Mexican heritage.
Now, Americans—especially in areas with heavy Mexican populations—use the holiday as a way to celebrate Mexican pride and heritage. Festivals are held throughout the U.S., with some of the largest being held in Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Celebrate the holiday by making this traditional Mexican drink: Watermelon Agua Fresca—which translates to “cool water” in English.
Many different fruits can be used in an agua fresca, but traditionally Mexicans’ will use local fruits that are in season.
Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca
• 4 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
• ½ cup water
• 24 mint leaves, divided
• 8 tablespoons super-fine sugar, divided
• 4 thin lime slices, halved into half moons
• Ice cubes
Directions: Add the watermelon and the water to a blender, and puree until smooth. Divide the mint leaves, sugar and lime slices among 8 glasses and muddle the ingredients. Add ice to each glass and pour in the watermelon agua fresca. Stir and serve.
Source: Food Network
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