Mint margarita: Toast both the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo

Two of Denver's best occasions for drinking -- the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo -- will collide on Saturday, May 5. The traditional drink of the Derby is the mint julep, of course, and margaritas are always flowing during Cinco de Mayo.

But rather than have to declare your alcohol allegiance, it's possible to combine the cocktails of these two unofficial holidays -- if you don't mind a major culture clash -- and toast them with a Mint Margarita.

There are numerous mint margarita recipes; this one comes from the August 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine:

Fresh Mint Margaritas

Ingredients 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 4 cups crushed ice 1 1/2 cups good-quality tequila 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 8 limes) 1 cup Triple Sec

Directions In the bottom of a large (2-quart) pitcher, crush together mint and salt, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon. Add ice. Add tequila, lime juice, and Triple Sec, stirring vigorously. Serve in short tumblers or wineglasses.

Optional: Try to use the leaves of mint "margarita," a perennial in the mentha species that officially merges the two traditions.

Happy holidays!

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