A Toast to San Patricios
Written by: Tom Sullivan
At Nosotros, we use our tequila and mezcal to bring people together. To share stories, forge friendships, and reflect on common experiences. This Saint Patrick’s Day, we highlight the Ireland-Mexico connection through a slice of history you may not have heard of from the Mexican-American war. The story of Saint Patrick’s Battalion.
Recipe at the bottom of the page:
“Who’s bloody bright idea was this?”
Sheehan looked over at Cavanaugh. The movement made him all the more aware of the thick rope around his neck. On the surface, it seemed an unusual predicament. Thirty Irishmen, thirty nooses, and not an English hangman in sight. In fact, the nearest English hangman was 5,000 miles away.
But to Cavanaugh, it seemed almost inevitable.
“Leave it to us Irish to defect to the losing side”, he replied.
The year was 1847. The prisoners had deserted the United States army in November of ’46. Had they deserted a year earlier, before the war, they would’ve merely received a lashing. Sheehan was sure to point this out to Cavanaugh at least twice a day.
The San Patricios had come to Mexico not to run or hide, but to fight. And, as it turned out, to die. This was the hardest part for any Irishman - the part between the fighting and the dying. All there was to do was wait.
The two soldiers squinted up at Chapultepec Castle, where the flag of Mexico waved in the morning light. The battle was nearly over. The moment the flag was captured, and the American flag took its place, the executioner would give the order, and thirty bodies would swing. The U.S. Army had a flair for drama. All there was to do was wait.
There would be no profound speeches on this day. No soliloquies on life and loss, on honor and duty and dignity. No thought given to the smell of ash in the air, or the sound of thirty beating hearts. The condemned were too busy offering their captors advice: Where to stick this, and where to shove that. On the top of the castle, a boy wrapped himself in the Mexican flag, and jumped. Cavanaugh and Sheehan watched the boy fall, and a new flag rise. They looked at each other, bruised and bloody, weary and worn. Before the world dropped out from beneath their feet, they shouted four words. Words that in this land, would be repeated - with glasses raised - on Saint Patrick’s Day forevermore: “Viva Ireland. Viva Mexico!” __________________________________________________________________________________ Saint Patrick’s Battalion was an artillery unit of the Mexican army, made up of over two hundred Irish-American immigrants and other European expatriates. The San Patricios, as they were known in Mexico, were responsible for some of the toughest battles in the Mexican-American war. They were finally defeated at the Battle of Churubusco, and in the aftermath, fifty members of the Battalion were executed by the U.S. Army - the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty of these executions were carried out in a single hanging during the Battle of Chapultepec. The Battle of Chapultepec is also notable for the story of the Niños Héroes - six teenage Mexican cadets who fought to the last man. The final cadet standing, Juan Escutia, wrapped himself in the Mexican flag and jumped to his death from the castle, rather than surrender the flag to the U.S. army. The people of Mexico and Ireland have much in common: An underdog, fighting spirit. A strong Catholic faith. And traditions that have been passed down for generations, through stories and songs, food and drink. In each bottle of Nosotros, we hope to capture that rebel spirit. So no matter where you come from, and what you’re drinking this St. Patrick’s day, raise one for the San Patricios - and all the underdogs out there who live to fight another day.
Time to sham-rock and roll with one of our St. Paddy’s creations 🍀
Here is our Nosotros MexiGuinness:
-2oz Nosotros Reposado
-1oz reduced Guinness (1 can—simmer in sauce pan until volume is 1/4-1/3 of original)
-.75oz simple syrup