Cinco de Mayo Cocktails

posted on 4/28/14

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and I’m planning a huge cocktail party to celebrate. Usually, I like my salt with a side of margarita but in the interest of postponing my inevitable sodium-induced demise, this year I’m skipping margaritas. How could one possibly throw a Cinco de Mayo cocktail party without margaritas? Easy. There are plenty of other Mexican cocktails that will help me celebrate in style.

1. Beer

Let’s be honest, no party is complete without beer. Beer is beloved by most everyone and it takes you to the land of intoxication but does so slower than liquor. Corona is an obvious choice to serve at any Cinco de Mayo party but there are other delicious Mexican beers your guests will love. Carta Blanca is a wonderfully light and mild beer. It’s as simple as an American lager but offers a Mexican twist. Pacifico is a little more crisp and is far more delicious with a lime than Corona. Tecate, canned or bottled, packs a sweet little punch. For the more explorative beer drinker, try serving it rimmed with salt, stuffed with lime, and splashed with hot sauce.

2. The Paloma

Oh, I just love the Paloma. The Paloma, not the margarita, is Mexico’s most beloved drink. Spanish for “dove,” this grapefruit in this drink pairs beautifully with tequila and is a refreshing way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

What you need:
1/3 cup pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed if possible
Several wedges of lime
2 ounces of silver tequila
3 ounces of pink grapefruit Perrier (or any grapefruit-flavored soda that you can find)
Coarse Salt or sugar

What you do:
Run a wedge of lime around the edge of the glass. Dip the glass in a shallow plate with salt or sugar if you’re looking for a sweet kick. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, tequila, and grapefruit juice. Let it sit for a moment and shake until it is mixed well and cold. Pour the drink into a glass, leaving a little extra room to top off with soda. Serve with a grapefruit or lime wedge. Bottoms up!

3. Michelada

The Michelada is like a Mexican version of a bloody mary. Instead of filling a glass with vodka, this tomato juice-based cocktail takes full advantage of the deliciousness of Mexican beer. The Michelada is a perfect hair-of-the-dog option for the morning after your party if you end up feeling a little hung over.

What you need:
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
2 teaspoons honey, spread thinly on a plate
2 cups Mexican beer, try Carta Blanca if you can find it
2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire
2 teaspoons Tabasco
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced but optional
2 limes, juiced

What you do:
Start by spreading a thin layer of honey on a plate. Dip your glasses in the honey. You don’t want too much, or the sweetness will overwhelm the spice of the cocktail. Combine the salt, paprika, and cayenne in a bowl and spread on a separate plate. Finish rimming the glass with the salt mixture. Fill a large shaker with ice and shake the beer, Worcestershire, Tobasco, and soy sauce vigorously. Pour the mixture into your glass and garnish with jalapenos or limes.

4. Tequila Sunrise

Whipping up a tequila sunrise batch in college was easy–simply fill a red plastic cup with tequila and orange juice. The drink would never be stirred properly since clean utensils were a rarity in my dorm. But now I’m officially an adult so it’s time for an adult version of the tequila sunrise and, let me tell you, it does not disappoint.

What you need:
1 ounce lime juice, preferably fresh
1 small jalapeno slice, with seeds
1 ounce Agave
4 ounces orange juice
1 1/2 ounce silver tequila
1/2 ounce pomegranate juice
1/2 orange slice
club soda

What you do:
Muddle the jalapeno and lime into a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, agave, and orange juice. Add ice and shake the mixture quickly just to chill it. Set the shaker aside and pour pomegranate juice into a pint glass. Fill the glass with ice. Strain the drink into the glass and garnish with orange. Bonus points if you are able to garnish with blood orange.

5. Cucumber Mojito

What can be said about a mojito that hasn’t already been said? The mojito is already one of the best summer cocktails around. It’s refreshing, light, and basically a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Plus, this drink is a great option for those who aren’t the biggest fans of tequila.

What you need:
1/2 a lime, juiced
Lime wedges
3-4 fresh mint sprigs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 a cucumber, peeled and pureed
2 ounces white rum
4 ounces club soda

What you do:
First, puree the cucumber in a food processor and mix it with lime juice. Pour the mix in a glass with ice. Muddle lime wedges, mint, and sugar. You don’t want to muddle it too heavily. Add the muddled ingredients in the glass with rum and club soda.

Looking for some fun decorations to spice up your Cinco de Mayo party? Check out our wide selection of fiesta party straws, paper lanterns and fans, fiesta table runners, Mexican flags, real wooden maracas, sombreros, and fun Cheech and Chong costumes!

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