Make It a Party: Cinco de Mayo

April 22, 2015

Make It a Party: Cinco de Mayo

In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican culture and a great reason to host a party!

The mix of spring weather, colorful decorations, and fantastic food and drinks makes a Cinco de Mayo celebration fun and festive. Here’s what you need to know to throw a great bash:

How It Works

What: While piñatas and sombreros aren’t necessary, good friends and tequila are definitely two Cinco de Mayo must-haves! Invite your crew to come celebrate all things Mexico with you.

When: Host your party on a weekend night in early May — no need to do it on the 5th.

Guests: Come ready to get festive at your fiesta!

Setup and Snacks

Set a Colorful Scene: Visit a craft or party store to purchase striped or brightly colored fabric to drape over your table and bar — think bright flowers and vibrant colors like reds, greens, pinks and yellows. Colorful tissue flowers are used for many celebrations in Mexico and make for an easy, inexpensive, do-it-yourself decor. Other extras include small piñatas, sombreros, and maybe some maracas for guests to play. Be sure to bedeck your space with strings of party lights, and definitely use this occasion as an opportunity to break out your colorful serving dishes!

For the Feast: Keep it simple with an interactive, self-serve, substantial main course. Try a fun taco bar with easy toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo in serving bowls; then arrange hard taco shells and tortillas (corn and/or flour) on a platter. Or check out our Mexican Favorites Recipe Roundup for other ideas.

For the Bar: Cerveza, sangria, and margaritas top the list of Mexican-inspired drinks to serve, but other ideas include agua fresca (a traditional Mexican drink made with fresh fruit, water and sugar) that you could serve with or without alcohol. Or if you’re lucky to live near a store that sells Mexican Coca-Cola, be sure to grab some! Made in Mexico with natural cane sugar and sold in small, thick-glass bottles, this uniquely delicious treat has its own cult following in the United States.

Let the Fun Begin!

As guests arrive, put cold margaritas in their hands, with the rims of the glasses covered in lime juice and salt. Or, if you prefer, set up a margarita machine for frosty fun. Either way, you’ll be sure to kick off the festivities properly!

Hang a Piñata: This playful prop will rev up your party’s atmosphere and give guests an excuse to get silly swatting for candy, prizes, or small tchotchkes — blindfolds mandatory!

A Playful Playlist: No need to hire a mariachi band for your bash (though that sure would be fun!) or to stick with only Mexican tunes. Download a mix of high-energy music by Tito Puente, The Mambo Kings, or Santana to add to your usual party playlist. Clear some furniture, add our killer recipe for Lose Your Shoes Margaritas, and it won’t be long before everyone’s up dancing!


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