People love to joke that on the day I was born—Cinco de Mayo—my family and the hospital nurses celebrated with jalapeño peppers and margaritas in the delivery room. But actually, that’s not too far from the truth: while my poor mother was in labor, my family was off partying at the Cinco de Mayo carnival on Mercy Hospital’s front lawn in Miami, Florida, elbows deep in guacamole, chalupas, and carne asada.
In keeping with tradition, every year on my birthday I break out the tequila—usually in the form of a margarita. But this year I plan to celebrate with a refreshing, sophisticated twist on the drink: the Picante de la Casa from Miami’s Soho Beach House, a spicy mixture of tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime, and muddled red chiles and cilantro.
I first tasted the cocktail last summer, when nothing was missing from my screensaver-perfect Miami Beach view but a tropical cocktail. Scanning the menu at Soho House’s bar, the Cinco de Mayo spirit in me directed my eye to the Picante de la Casa. With its rush of sweet agave followed by subtle hints of cilantro and lime, and just enough heat from Fresno chiles, it turned out to be the perfect choice. Each sip leaves you wanting more, so I’ll be serving them by the pitcher for my Cinco de Mayo birthday fiesta!