Hornito and Sauza Tequila's Cinco De Mayo Event

Until Hornitos and Sauza tequila invited me to participate in their Cinco De Mayo event ($20 including five drink tickets and all the food), I had limited knowledge on the May 5th celebration other than it being a festive day filled with sombreros, tacos and tequila – a party day not unlike St. Patrick’s!

Aside from the parties, it’s seen as a day for participants to embrace the Mexican culture and the delights they’ve gifted the world. It wasn’t until educating myself on Wikipedia about Cinco De Mayo’s significance that I discovered it’s really a holiday to commemorate the day General Ignacio Zaragoza lead the Mexican army to win the Battle of Puebla. The army was poorly equipped to fight against French forces, so when they experienced victory, the day was used to symbolize unity and perseverance of the underdog. What a great representation!

Since the LCBO led event was my first time observing Cinco De Mayo I didn’t know what to expect, other than being warned there’d be PLENTY of tequila! We arrived early and were treated to delicious cocktails including a guided DIY citrusy Paloma and a scrumptious professionally created mango margarita.

The sit down Hornitos tequila tasting was eye opening: I sampled the mixer friendly Plata, sipping quality Reposado and the Black Barrel, which was oaky and fragrant – if you enjoy Scotch or whiskey this is the tequila with the peatiness you’d enjoy.

Hornito's Black Barrel tequila

Luckily, Valdez was also preparing a number of Latin eats to balance the alcohol. The empanadas were a highlight, its crispy fluffy corn meal crust stuffed with plenty of spiced minced beef studded with potato.

Valdez: empanadas

On every table were bowls of chips with creamy guacamole and salsa, the typical tortilla chips expanded to include crispy plantain, yucca, taro, corn and potato varieties.

Valdez: chips, guacamole, salsa, mango margaritas

It was difficult, but we nabbed the fragrant seared beef skewers we saw circulating the restaurant. It was worth loitering around the open kitchen, the sticks of meat flavourful, piping hot and juicy.

Valdez: grilled beef skewers

There were other eats: messy spicy hot chicken wings in a slightly sweet BBQ sauce and salty chorizo tacos topped with peppers, onions, goat cheese and chipotle mayo. All doing their magic to keep the tequila at bay.  

Valdez: chorizo tacosValdez: BBQ chicken wings

Little did I know this event would be my last chance to eat at Valdez’s starter restaurant. Shortly after the event, the 606 King West location was shuttered as the restaurant moves to a larger four-floor space down the block. The food was good, I could definitely be convinced to return.  

At the end of the evening, participants left with a loot bag filled with Paloma mix (that I swiftly used that weekend), a comfy Hornitos skull t-shirt, cool sphere ice cube molds, and a recipe booklet, all in a trusty LCBO bottle separating carrier bag.

Thank you Hornitos and Sauza for introducing me the holiday’s traditions. Until next year, Feliz Cinco De Mayo!

Disclaimer: I attended the event on a complimentary basis. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will provide an honest opinion. 

How To Find Them
 Location: Valdez in Toronto, Canada
 Address: 606 King Street West

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.

Valdez Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato