Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made immigration, particularly immigration from other parts of the Americas, a lynchpin in his campaign. According to detractors, however, the reality show host and New York developer has taken his rhetoric beyond the pale, classifying Mexican illegal immigrants as “rapists,” and insisting that as president he would institute measures that would force Mexico to build a bigger wall between that country and the U.S. Opponents insist Trump is deliberately lumping all Hispanics and Latinos together in the minds of his supporters, and promoting fear and opposition in order to win the election.
This weekend, Trump appears as the host (for a second time) on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” and while the late-night comedy show has recruited controversial hosts before, Trump’s appearance is sparking protests and calls to stop watching the 40-year-old show, something actor/comedian John Leguizamo recently said he supports.
While there will no doubt be some highlight moments of comedic barbs and self-effacement (as there often are with such hosts), it’s likely Trump won’t allow anything too piercing to be played against him. If you have decided not to watch the show, and instead are seeking to celebrate the Latino heritage of North and South America, here are six ways to spend your Saturday night*
Ilegal Mezcal: Produced in Oaxaca and bottled in the U.S. by Americans who’ve spent many years in Guatemala, Ilegal is a true cross-cultural product with a Mexican soul. It’s also been vocally opposed to Trump since he began publicizing his anti-immigration platform. At the top of the brand’s website is the slogan “Donald eres un pendejo!” (jackass or a**hole), and the brand has been selling shirts, hosting “gorilla projection” videos throughout NYC, tagging city streets with their graphic and slogan for the past several months. They are also encouraging fans to share images of themselves with a shot of mezcal, posting the hashtag #AShotatDonald, and promising to raise $10,000 to donate to youth education and advocacy. Spokespeople for the brand say they’re planning a protest in front of NBC studios during taping of the show. It also happens to be some of the best mezcal on the market.
El Jimador Tequila: All real tequila hails from one of five Mexican states, particularly Jalisco. So any tequila will do. But El Jimador has been especially active in celebrating the international glue that is soccer. Each year, it releases limited-edition soccer bottles highlighting the brand’s sponsorship of Major League Soccer, the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National teams and the annual U.S. Tour of the Mexican National Team. Special bottles are adorned with team colors and logos, and the brand hosts contests where fans get the opportunity to play against former pro players like Alexi Lalas, Brandi Chastain and Claudio Suarez.
Solbeso: Made from cacao fruit, Solebeso is a new category of spirit, but not dissimilar from rum or white whiskey. Sourced and distilled from across several Latin American countries (then bottled in the U.S.), the spirit is distilled from the pulp of the fruit, not the bitter interior bean that produces chocolate. The result is an earthy, citrusy spirit that adds depth and zest to daiquiris, caipirinhas and more.
Victoria Beer: Lots of beer comes out of Mexico: Corona, Dos Equis, Tecate, Modelo. Victoria is my beer of choice when I’m traveling through Mexico. Paired with a shot of tequila, a shot of lime and a shot of sangrita (the trio is called a “bandera” for the colors of the Mexican flag), it’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon on a plaza, people watching. The crisp, Vienna-style lager is billed as Mexico’s oldest beer brand, and has more body than many of the more popular brands.
Don Q Rum: It seems people sometimes forget that Puerto Rico is actually a part of the United States. It’s also a great rum-producing island. Don Q rums—helmed these days by Roberto Serralles, the sixth generation in his family to make rum—aims also to make rum responsibly. Serralles, who pursued a PhD in environmental studies, worked to zero out the pollutants in the wastewater that comes with rum production (through a duel aerobic and anaerobic “digestion” to create pure water). He’s now researching microfiltration to help make the wastewater even cleaner. “The whole idea here is zero discharge operation,” he says. It doesn’t hurt that the rum (which comes in aged and flavored variations as well) is very good.
Mahou Beer: From Spain, rather than Latin America, its influence and popularity in the U.S. is on the rise. And it’s important to remember that much of what makes Central and South America (and much of the U.S.) what it is today is rooted in Spanish colonialism (for better and worse) and the original European immigrants to this continent (for better and worse). Family-owned Mahou recently partially acquired the American company Founders Brewing, expanding its presence in the U.S. The beer is bold and full of flavor, yet still refreshing. Perhaps the best thing is the easy pull-top on the bottles, perfect for picnics, tailgating parties or peaceful protests.
*This article does not reflect or imply the opinions or political positions of any given brand (except, possibly, Ilegal Mezcal). They are simply rounded up to showcase many glorious drinking options the Americas have to offer. Please drink responsibly.