Modern México: Goodbye to Clichés
Día de Muertos is Here Again!
On this Mexican holiday, family and friends gather to remember and honor their loved ones who have died, in a loving celebration filled with festivities, food, and spirits alongside the living.
One central tradition connected with this holiday is building altars to honor the dead, where pictures of the deceased are surrounded by their favorite food and drinks and adorned with marigold flowers, candles, and calaveras (skulls) represented in candied sweets.
¿Did you know that the most familiar representation of Day of the Dead is the famous Catrina or the Lady of the Dead? She symbolizes the joy of life in the face of its inevitable end.
You may have noticed that this national holiday has been spreading globally over the last years and is now celebrated in different parts of the world. We invite you to join the celebration of this special day, along with a nice Altos Tequila.
What really happens during Día de Muertos?
Always together, but each in their own way, Mexicans do have a very special idea of how to honor the dead:
- Día de Muertos remains one of the most colorful and heartwarming festivities in the Mexican calendar, with a very intimate side to it.
- Families come together and create altars at home to honor their departed loved ones and then feast on delicious food; but there is also a very public, colorful, and festive side, seen in groups of friends going out or organizing theme parties that celebrate this unique and most Mexican of holidays.
- While in most cultures people would talk of the greatness of the ones who have passed on, in Mexico we remember our deceased by putting on their altar whatever made them weak: their favorite foods, sweets, and drinks. An Altos Día de Muertos party seems like a perfect idea, as it is truly a celebration of life, of a family’s or a community’s joie de vivre and of how the people we love (or loved) make the most of life.
- After all, always present on a Day of the Dead altar, of course, is a bottle of Altos, the best tequila ever.
Make your own ofrenda
“Ofrenda” is the name Mexicans give to Day of the Dead altars—an offering of delectable, traditional food, which is a gesture of thankfulness and love for the departed, as well as a celebration of the good things in life.
Here is a list of the main elements you want to include on your ofrenda:
- Sugar skulls: These are traditional candies made from sugar (remember that sugar cane came to America from the Middle East, due to the Spanish conquest); this ingredient fused with the indigenous cosmovision and the tzoales or alegrías that were made with amaranth.
- Flor de los muertos, Cempasúchil or marigolds: In Náhuatl, Cempasúchil means “flower of 20 petals.” It holds great symbolic value, especially during Día de Muertos. In fact, the petals are spread on the ground to mark a path which will guide the souls of the dead so that they can find their way to the altars that their family and friends have created in their honor. Traditionally it is believed that these petals carry the warmth of the sun and illuminate the road back home for the dead.
- Glass of water: This represents the source of life. It is offered to the souls so that they may quench their thirst after a long journey and be strengthened for their return.
- Salt: This purifies and staves off the souls that were corrupted along the journey.
- Candles: The candles’ light illuminates the path for the souls so that they may find their loved ones’ homes without getting lost. Tip: Altos Tequila bottles make great candle holders.
- Papel picado: These stencil cut banners are now made from tissue paper. However, their origins date back to a prehispanic tradition that over time was adapted to Catholic rituals. Each color has a meaning; for example, orange represents mourning, yellow means that the person died in old age and black represents the underworld.
- Bread of the dead: For its circular form, the bread of the dead represents the cycle of life and death. The ball in the upper center represents the cranium and the crisscross “bones” represent the four cardinal points.
- Food: Ofrendas always include the favorite dishes and fruits of the deceased. Moles and citrus fruits are common.
- Photographs: It is vital to include a printed photograph of our loved ones in order to remember them. Although we can’t see them in person, they still exist in our memory.
- Altos Plata and Altos Reposado: We offer our dead the best tequila as we remember the beautiful moments of life with them. This also offers a great incentive for their spirit to return and visit us once again!
Are you ready to celebrate life?
We have created the perfect Altos Tequila cocktail to loyally honor this festivity. Another reason to celebrate Día de Muertos!
- 45 ml of Altos Reposado
- 15 ml of tumeric and ginger syrup*
- 10 ml of Ramazotti
- 20 ml of lemon juice
- 2 dashes of Peychaud’s Butterfly Pea
*For turmeric and ginger syrup, you need:
- • 10 g of fresh turmeric
- • 30 g of fresh ginger
- • 500 g of sugar
- • 500 ml of water
- Using a small spoon, peel the ginger & turmeric.
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until sugar has fully dissolved.
- Strain liquid through fine strainer (compost pulps).
- Bottle syrup and refrigerate. Shelf life is 10 days.
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Finish with the dashes of Peychaud’s Butterfly Pea. Garnish with a marigold with 2 drops of neroli oil on its center.