Chasing Premixed Margaritas at a Greenlake Block Party

Sofie Dalgaard
Cinco de Mayo: Another foreign holiday that serves as an excuse for bar owners to offer cheap drink specials, and for drunks to booze it up in the middle of the week. Isn't capitalism just marvelous?

Being neither Mexican nor American, I was ecstatic about my first Cinco de Mayo adventures, and had RSVP'ed 'attending' to every Facebook tequila event of the day. But fate--or, in my case, a misreading of the bus schedule--had different plans, and Wednesday evening was spent drinking premixed margaritas at Tacos Guaymas' block party in Greenlake.

At Tacos Guaymas, supply wasn't the problem--it was the Trader Joe's strategy of only featuring one kind of each commodity. So, what's a girl to do when all she is served is soap-tasting margaritas? It's called chasing, and it goes a little like this:

The premixed margarita that looks like something out of DJ Tiesto's light show is served in a nondescript plastic cup. Then the tequila shot you ordered is served next to the margarita ... without lime or salt, because it's Cinco de Mayo and customers who order more than just one cocktail and a shot get more attention. "There are a lot of people who will order for more than 25 bucks," I heard the rude bartender shout at a girl ordering far less.

Attitudes aside, there's no way around it: being stuck in Greenlake on Cinco de Mayo with Reggaeton-loving DJs is a memory you want to cloud with alcohol.

Realizing that you never really liked soap, you chase the cocktail with the tequila shot, which in turn tastes horrible without the lime and salt. So you finish the margarita, only to order another shot to rescue your taste buds from overdosing on sodium. Hey, nobody ever said Cinco de Mayo was classy.

Celebrating Mexican independence in Greenlake might not be pretty, but as a fellow chaser asked me: Imagine if history had taken a different course, and the French had defeated Mexico? Cinco de Mayo would certainly have played out a bit differently, likely involving blue teeth and bad breath from cheap red wine and cheese fondue. And although I loathed Wednesday's drink offerings, I'll take a margarita-fueled block party at a Greenlake taco joint over a French wine-and-cheese fest any day.

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