You just might be celebrating Cinco de Mayo Day today with a refreshing margarita, but do you really know why you are toasting this day?

Well Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in1862. The Mexicans were outmanned against a much superior force from France who had twice as many troops. So when did America start celebrating with our neighbors from the south? Well almost immediately.

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The news of the Mexican victory spread to the western US when Mexican gold miners in northern California were thrilled with Mexico’s victory that they sang patriotic songs and fired weapons into the air to celebrate. That became the birth of the Cinco de Mayo parties each year thereafter.

The holiday was never embraced nationally until marketing efforts of beer companies sprang up in the 1980s. Ironically, Cinco de Mayo is not widely celebrated in Mexico like it is in the United States. So when you toast that margarita today you can do so knowing the story behind Cinco de Mayo.

Speaking of margaritas, a friend of mine told me a few years ago to add just a bit of orange juice to your margarita and it will take some of the “zing” out of it.  Try it and see! If someone else makes your margarita ask them to add some O.J..

Oh, by the way, who does make the best margarita in the Hannibal-Quincy area?


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