Cinco de Mayo and Gwyneth Paltrow

An Appreciation of Culture and History

Gwyneth Paltrow Gets Festive with The Cointreau Original Margarita Ahead of Cinco de Mayo

Photo provided with permission


Gwyneth Paltrow has partnered with Cointreau, the original crystal-clear orange liqueur, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the 70th anniversary of the Original Margarita. Cointreau, itself, originated in France and uses orange peels and bitters, sourced from primarily Latin American countries, as the heart of its creative cocktails. The Original Margarita dates back to 1948 when Margarita Sames combined tequila, fresh lime juice, and Cointreau. The irony of Cointreau’s French origin is not lost on those aware of the history of Cinco de Mayo. The tensions between France and Mexico may be over for the most part now; but the historic victory that defines the holiday is certainly one worth telling. If only to be certain to learn from that history. To commemorate the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, we offer that story in both English and Spanish. Translation for the article was provided by Google Translate. Our apologies for any grammatical errors.


157 years ago, in 1861, Mexico declared an end to the repayment of its war debts to foreign powers. In response, Britain, Spain and France invaded in 1862, hoping to insert a more “agreeable” person to power and continue to collect. As the fighting went on England and Spain would eventually tire and choose to negotiate with Mexico however, the French persisted. By May of that same year the French General Charles Latrille de Lorencez planned to send 6,000 troops to attack a small town in eastern Mexico, La Puebla de Los Angeles. The President of Mexico, Benito Juárez, who had already been made to retreat from earlier battles with the French, rallied a force of nearly 2,000 men and placed General Ignacio Zaragoza in command to ready the Puebla for an attack. On May 5th 1862, Mexican forces were outnumbered and outgunned, but conviction can sometimes make up for a few missing soldiers; if that conviction is strong enough. The battle lasted for around eight hours and by that time Mexico had lost less than 100 men and France was down 500 and in retreat. This unbelievable victory galvanized the Mexican Resistance and Mexico held out for five years after that historic victory until American forces sent aid to Mexico and the French finally withdrew. The Battle of Puebla wasn’t the battle that ended the war by any stretch, but it was the battle that showed the Mexican nation that their war could be won.

Today Mexican-Americans and Americans alike took to the Gaslamp Quarter and Old Town through the Fourth, Fifth, and even Sixth of May to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Old Town prepared for its 35th Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo, extending the fiesta to three full days of cultural fun and festivities. On Friday, the events began at 4pm and ran until the night, wrapping up at 10pm. Show up early on Saturday because the fun begins at 11am and doesn’t stop until 10pm. On the final day, the events kick off at 11am and brings the weekend celebration to a close at 5pm. Fiesta Old Town will have everything you could possibly imagine for Cinco de Mayo; traditional food from well-known restaurants, lucha libre matches, live music, and so much more! A free event that is perfect for all ages. The 3rd Annual Tacos and Tequila Festival, located at Liberty Station in Point Loma, takes place on Saturday only and also has plenty to offer. A fun and inclusive event, this celebration focuses more specifically on tacos, tequila, and the best craft beer in San Diego. At $35 admission, each attendee receives a sample tasting of all 8 different tequila brands featured at the event, as well as inexpensive tacos, over 100 kinds of craft beers, and live music to accompany you along with the different tastes and smells.

However you choose to celebrate, in Mexico or here in San Diego, be sure to raise a glass and toast, and remember to drink responsibly!