Gearing up for this year’s Cinco de Mayo festivities? With the popular May 5th holiday just around the corner, many are dusting off sombreros and planning which parade, festival or bar to drink at this year. But decades before the margaritas and fajitas, there was the Battle of Puebla and Mexico’s unlikely victory: the real meaning behind Cinco de Mayo.
To understand what we’re even celebrating, let’s backtrack to 1862 for your history lesson of the day. This is a rough time in Mexico’s history and their new president, Benito Juárez, has no choice but to default on European loans and announces a two-year suspension on repayments. Spain, Britain and France want their money back and send their forces to Mexico demanding reimbursement. While Spain and Britain manage to negotiate, France won’t take no for an answer and now wants to seize all of Mexico.
Sending an army that is considered to be the best in the world at this time, France heads to the city of Puebla on May 5th, 1862, initiating the Battle of Puebla. Since France hasn’t been defeated in decades, they expect an easy victory. Despite being outnumbered and holding inferior weapons, Mexico is determined and not about to let the French get away without a fight. They’re led into battle by General Ignacio Zaragoza and manage to triumph over the French army against all odds.
This was a huge David-vs-Goliath moment in Mexican history and news of the win spread quickly throughout the country inspiring millions and refueling the nation’s pride during a difficult time. The Battle of Puebla definitely proves the strength of the little guy and, when the whole world is doubting the underdogs, it’s their resilience and sheer will to succeed that leads them to an even sweeter victory.
No one could have anticipated that Mexico’s underdog moment would have led to the international festivities of today. But the inspiring story of this unlikely triumph over the French army is the real reason we should be celebrating Cinco de Mayo. And now that you know what really went down on the 5th of May, go out and celebrate the day for what it really is: a heartwarming victory for the little guy. A Mexican spirit is the way to go and tequila is the nation’s choice when it comes to celebrations. These three underdogs embody the essence of Mexico in their name, vision and spirit and are each worth raising a glass to.
The Brave Beauty: Siempre Tequila
Always spreading good tequila vibes, this 100% blue weber agave tequila is smooth enough to sip. Founded by a couple who quit their careers to make tequila, Siempre is growing like a rose from concrete: against all odds.
The Strong One: Tequila Fortaleza
The family behind Tequila Fortaleza honours the customs that have been passed down over five generations of experience in the industry. Strong like an army and the bond of family, this tequila uses their traditional artisanal methods to make every batch.
The Dreamer and Believer: Mezcal Creyente
While tequila gets the spotlight, mezcal is worthy of a shoutout here. Based on the philosophy that anything is possible, this remarkable mezcal blends flavours from two different regions in Oaxaca, Mexico, proving nothing is out of reach for those who believe.
Pair your drink with some authentic Mexican food and let us know where you’ll be celebrating this year!