Celebrating the Day of the Dead

The Thirsty Travellers skipped Halloween this year, preferring to toast the Day of the Dead with margaritas.

The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos), is a Mexican tradition where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a celebration. The holiday is marked each year from November 1-2. On the Day of the Dead, it’s believed that the border between the spirit world and the real world dissolves and the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones. 

As History notes: “It’s an occasion for remembering and celebrating those who have passed on from this world, while at the same time portraying death in a more positive light, as a natural part of the human experience.”

Speaking of drinking, the tequila with the strongest links to the festival is Espolon (above). The brand’s distinctive labels pay tribute to Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. Posada was a political cartoonist and lithographer who played a critical role in social justice activism. He is best remembered for his art of Calaveras – depictions of skulls and skeletons used for cultural and political critiques. Some of his most famous Calaveras are icons for the day of the dead celebrations.

However, it wasn’t on the menu at Mexican restaurant Muchacha in Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches, so we happily settled for Brown-Forman’s El Jimador Tequila Reposado. el Jimador is crafted using 100% blue agave and fermented naturally with wild yeast produced by the fruit trees and agave plants surrounding the distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.

It’s named to honour the “Jimadores,” who work in the fields to harvest the agave plants used for production. 

We sipped several rounds of delicious The Muchacha margaritas – el Jimador, triple sec and the restaurant’s homemade margarita mix. If you’re making margaritas at home, the classic recipe is 3 parts tequila, 2 parts triple sec, and 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice. Some people add agave syrup or simple syrup, and a salt rim adds to the taste experience.

We snacked on guacamole and corns chips, followed by Baja style Fish Tacos – beer battered flathead fillets with pico de gallo salsa, citrus yogurt, coriander and lime; and Seared Rare Ahi Tuna Tacos with mango and haberano salsa, guacamole, caramelised pineapple and pickled red onion.

They were all filled with fresh, vibrant flavours. The portions were generous and three tacos were more than enough food for each of us.

The restaurant is relaxed and casual, filled with families and fielding a constant stream of takeaway orders. To mark the Day of the Dead, two young diners had dressed up for the occasion – one in a sombrero, the other as Frida Kahlo – adding to the celebratory vibe.

Muchacha, 1421 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen, Sydney, NSW

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