It’s finally time to introduce April’s Innovations Club gin – Cinco de Mayo Gin! The team love this product and have been eagerly waiting for you to experience something a little different. Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican inspired gin with a smoky aroma. Its fruity undertones on the palate are balanced with sharp citrus, cocoa and toasted coconut. Aged for 14 months in tequila barrels, this gin is bold and lively, inspired by the Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Early in 2020 we bought some used tequila barrels from Porfidio. We knew one of our experiments with the barrels would be to age a gin, but first we had to decide what that gin would be. While researching Mexican recipes, Distiller Ryan came across a sweet and sour dessert tart that sparked his imagination. Listed on a blog for Cinco de Mayo desserts was a “Cocoa-Nutty Lime Tart” which had all the flavours we thought would shine in a Mexican inspired gin; zesty citrus balanced with creamy cocoa and coconut. Ryan distilled a gin with cocoa beans, desiccated coconut, orange peel and lime leaf. A delicious spirit on its own, but how would it fare after being barrel aged? It turns out, very well!
We added the coconut and lime gin to the tequila barrel in December 2020, with plenty of taste-testing along the way. We decided to stop the ageing process in February 2022, as there was a perfect balance of flavours from the gin and a smoky tequila profile imparted from the barrel. Cinco de Mayo is certainly a gin but you’d be forgiven if you thought otherwise. The distinctive, rich and smoky aromas of tequila are the first thing that hits on the nose, and, thankfully are present on the pallet too, however this gin gives way to the lime and cocoa, a creamy mouth feel and lingering coconut.
You may well be familiar with the celebrations for Cinco de Mayo on the 5th of May each year. While the day is now celebrated globally and has become a day to explore all aspects of Mexican culture, the origins are a little more specific. Cinco de Mayo commemorates a battle in the southeastern Mexican city of Puebla. The battle in 1862 saw Mexico defeat the French. This holiday is not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day or Fiestas Patrias is celebrated on September 16. Over the years Cinco de Mayo has gained popularity in the USA and eventually the rest of the world and is celebrated with parties and plenty of tequila, however a more authentic tradition to honour this day is to enjoy Mole Poblano. A dish well known and loved across Mexico and has pre-Hispanic indigenous roots. Interestingly, the name Mole derives from the Aztec word Mulli, meaning “sauce.”
Historically, not all Mexican people could drink tequila because it was considered a nectar of the gods. Only priests could consume it. It’s now synonymous with the country and its culture and enjoyed in abundance around the world. We hope this gin honours some of the beautiful flavours to come out of Mexico. We have released Cinco de Mayo Gin in April so our Club members have it well in advance of any celebrations come the 5th of May.
The barrels used to age Cinco de Mayo Gin are medium-toasted barrels. Made from highest quality American oak, namely, Pennsylvania white oak. They had previously been used to age Porfidio Auscal Anejo for 1 year. Then aged our gin for 14 months and still have a rich, smoky, tequila flavour ready to impart into something else…
The label for Cinco de Mayo is as bold and lively and its flavour profile! We have Batch Graphic Designer, LadyJane to thank for April’s colourful artwork. Taking inspiration for traditional Mexican folk art, Jane has featured the key botanicals and agave, whose nectar becomes tequila.
Pour Cinco de Mayo over plenty of ice, top with Indian Tonic and garnish with fresh lime and a sprig of mint.
As Cinco De Mayo Gin is aged in a tequila barrel and has all the smoky flavours from the barrel, we chose to go for a classic tequila cocktail… with a twist! The creamy flavours of coconut really push though in this gin and stay on the palate, so we went for a coconut margarita. This month’s cocktail has the option to be served on the rocks or blended. If you have a blender we recommend opting for the slushy style, especially refreshing in the sunshine.
For the Coconut Margarita you will need:
75ml cream of coconut
50ml Cinco de Mayo Gin
25ml Triple Sec
Freshly squeezed lime juice
For the garnish you will need:
Coarse sea salt
Pour the cream of coconut, Cinco de Mayo Gin and lime juice into a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously for about 15–30 seconds. Alternatively, add all of the ingredients, plus an extra handful of ice, to a blender and blend until slushy.
Spread the honey on one plate and the salt and coconut on another plate. Dip the glass in the honey and then in the salt and coconut. Strain the shaken margarita into a glass over ice, or if blended add straight to your glass.
Need April’s gin and not a member of our Innovations Club? Become a member now and get £10 off your first month here.