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Cinco de Mayo: A Time to Celebrate or a Time to Drink?

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

College students will look for any excuse to drink. Got a C on your Chem midterm? Celebrate! Made it through Day 1 of your new diet? Celebrate! Don’t have homework? Celebrate! But is there a line drawn when it comes to holidays? Should we be more focused on the principal of the day or how much to spike the margaritas?

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated nationwide in the United States but only regionally in Mexico. Originally a day to celebrate the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the 1862 Battle of Puebla, it somehow evolved into a day of celebrating not only the victory, but Mexican heritage and pride, too. Some people confuse the holiday with the day Mexico became an independent country, but that’s actually September 16.

A Journal News article published last year asked the president of the Cincinnati Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Alfonso Cornejo, why he thought the holiday changed from a celebration of Mexican heritage to one mainly associated with drinking. He said it “started in the 1960s and ’70s when a national Mexican-style restaurant chain used the holiday as a promotion in Texas.” From there, other companies ran with the idea to advertise their own products and, as they say, the rest is history.

Sangria is just one of the many Cinco de Mayo options. Photo by waferboard.

If you’re on the same school schedule as me, you won’t exactly be jetting down to Mexico for some fun in the sun and a chance to have an authentic Cinco de Mayo party. But you can create a similar atmosphere at your own place! Break out the piñata, the streamers and balloons, invite some friends over, and fix up some of these tasty drinks!

Frozen LemonBerry Margaritas
Blueberries, strawberries, and tequila make up this yummy margarita. Take out the tequila if you have little kids hanging around and want them to have something delicious to sip on, too!

Piñata (Mexican Piña Colada)
My personal favorite, the Piñata is a thick, rich drink flavored with the tropical tastes of pineapple and coconut. There are different recipes for the Piñata, so feel free to experiment.

Red Wine Sangria
From what I’ve heard, a great sangria is a Cinco de Mayo essential and this recipe claims to be “the best.”

Since it’s never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, you can go with the more popular Mexican dishes, such as burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, tostadas, chips, salsa, guacamole, and tacos, or you can jump on Google and hunt for some more mouth-watering less-used dishes, like Mexican Grilled Corn.

So, cue the mariachi music and have fun celebrating, however you choose to do so!

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