Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Thu May 05 2016

5 Best Craft Bars for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Features & Advice | Charu Suri | May 05, 2016

5 Best Craft Bars for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration

PHOTO: Pepinos Locos. (photo courtesy of Hyatt Ziva Cancun)

Although Mexico’s official Independence Day is on September 16, many people show their pride on Cinco de Mayo, to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French during the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862 in somewhat of a “David versus Goliath move” (the French forces had 6,000 men versus Mexico’s 2,000).

But tequila and its cocktail cousins have such a widespread appeal now that it’s almost impossible to wander into a bar without encountering a margarita or two.

While the spirit of victory is definitely local, the celebratory spirit is most certainly global. Here are some bars around the world where you can celebrate the 5th in style:

Saasil, Hyatt Ziva Cancun

Designed by the legendary Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta in the 1970s, the Hyatt Ziva Cancun’s fresh look respects the legacy of Mayan architecture. “Saasil,” which is the Mayan word for “heaven” is the all-inclusive resort’s bar, and comes very close to mirroring that name, with its warm woods and casual-style decor.

READ MORE: It’s Cinco de Mayo: Pack Your Bags for Puebla

For Cinco de Mayo, the capable bartender will serve a cool drink called the “Pepinos Locos” tequila and squirt combination in a horticulturally resplendent hollowed-out cucumber with a chili and salt rim.

Pod 39, Rooftop

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing a taco cart 17 stories above the ground, check out the rooftop of Pod 39 in NYC, with its tequila-infused libations including a draft Negra Modelo for $10. A $14 setback will fetch you a killer Mezcal Mule, and there are great sounds of a mariachi band you can sip to.

Gansevoort Park Avenue

Located on 420 Park Avenue in Manhattan with great views of the Empire State building, the Gansevoort Park Avenue serves you three tacos for $15 and $10 margaritas for the holiday. The Flatiron District luxury high-rise also is a hop, skip and a jump away from Madison Park.

Vesper Bar, Vegas Cosmopolitan

This bar, surrounded by mirrored tiles and centered on a wooden liquor cabinet is the romantic Vesper Bar in Las Vegas, in a well-known hotel on the strip. It’s a “see and be seen” kind of vibe, with a rotating menu of signature cocktails.

The name of the bar, of course, is a nod to the heroine Vesper Lynd from “Casino Royale,” and because of its global style, the cocktail menu reflects world spirits, including the Paloma, made with tequila Ocho Blanco, fresh lime juice and Jarritos grapefruit soda.

READ MORE: The Best Mole Poblano in the US For Cinco de Mayo

Mosto, San Francisco

This handsome bar on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District has an impressive list of over 300 tequilas and mezcals, as well as small bites served in a cantina-style space beautifully illuminated by mason jars. The vibe is decidedly funky: the ceiling is lined with thousands of canning jars, and hundreds of tequila bottles line the dark-paneled shelves. For just $8, the tequila tasting comes with two chasers: Sangrita and a pickle back.


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