“Sink In De Mayo” (With Margaritas)
I’ve been at this government job for less than 2 years now, and last year I learned that my employer holds a Cinco De Mayo party every year they call, “Sink in De Mayo”. Mayo – as in, mayonnaise.
The party has a truly gross theme, but it was a lot more fun than it sounds.
Basically, every dish at the party must contain or use mayonnaise in some way. And all the drinks are served in old (clean) mayonnaise jars. Stay with me here…
For some reason, I didn’t get the email until the day of the party, and it was being held in our office right after work! So I wasn’t exactly prepared.
But let me tell you, it was a lot of fun.
I moved to Colorado from rural Alabama, a place not exactly steeped in Mexican and Hispanic culture. So I learned a lot about Mexican food and drinks at this gathering. Cultural immersion by mayonnaise, if you will.
The Food (More Than 5 Types of Mayo)
I was surprised at the culinary prowess of my co-workers. My two favorite picks from the spread were Mexican street corn and Mexican coleslaw. Street corn is basically charred corn with a mayonnaise concoction drizzled over it. The mayo is mixed with enough spices and chili powder to put you on the streets of Mexico City.
Coleslaw is one of my favorite sides, so I couldn’t deny myself the opportunity to try this Mexican adaptation. It was everything I imagined it would be. I found myself sitting down with a heap of Mexican coleslaw and some carnitas (Mexican pulled pork) on the side. The combination was enough to keep me locked in my seat until my plate was clean.
The Drinks Were Awesome
I was hesitant about drinking from old mayonnaise jars. They were clean, of course, but the first few sips I swear I could catch a whiff of lingering mayo (or maybe it was the mayonnaise inspired foods around me). But once I got the first drink in me, I forgot all about the smell of mayonnaise.
My employer had long ago sprung for a margarita machine to make his ‘Sinkin in De Mayo’ party complete. It was one of those big, silvery beauties that I had dreamed of owning when I lived in my bachelor pad in Alabama.
This thing would have made Jimmy Buffet proud. Heck, I think he may have designed the thing.
Three pitchers all serviced by one, rotating ice dispenser. It was so advanced, it had settings for just about every frozen concoction imaginable to ensure that no matter what beverage you were making, the ice was shaved and mixed to perfection.
My employer noticed how mesmerized I was by his margarita machine that he quickly swooped in and ran down its list of features. He must have read the manual half a dozen times.
Or he just really likes his frozen drinks.
In one pitcher was the classic margarita. The margarita is the extent of my experience with Mexican beverages.
I skipped over that at first, hoping to treat my mouth to a new frozen drink experience – the horchata, also known as a Mexican Milkshake.
I was surprised to learn that the main ingredient in a horchata is white rice. The taste was like a rich, sweet milk. The freshly shaved ice from the margarita machine really gave the horchata the consistency of a milkshake.
The final pitcher was filled with an unfrozen mixture known as Sangrita. I made the mistake of assuming everyone was saying sangria. They are, in fact, different. Sangrita (again, not to be confused with the Spanish wine-and-fruit mixture) is non-alcoholic but is served with a shot of tequila. It’s meant to cleanse the palette of the agave.
I got quite the lesson in the proper way to make a sangrita. Most places will mix it with tomato juice but in order to pour yourself an “authentic” sangrita, the recipe calls for Seville orange, pomegranate juices and powdered chilies for heat.
The sangrita really had a kick to it, but it certainly does the trick of cutting out the agave taste. I was quickly reaching for a margarita to squash the heat from the sangrita.
I left the party shortly after the margarita, fearing that I might have to sleep in my cubicle if I stayed any longer. I had a belly full of mayonnaise, a nice buzz and dreams of one day mixing frozen beverages in my own silvery margarita machine.
On a beach, somewhere…