Serendipity knows fiestas, and we have tips to make you everyone’s favorite amigo on Cinco de Mayo. But first, a quick look at why we celebrate: Cinco de Mayo is a relatively small celebration in most of Mexico. The celebration commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Here in the United States, we adopted the holiday as a chance to get in touch with one of our biggest national cultures, and for many of us, our heritage. Cinco de Mayo is deliciously fun, and still a little new to some, so take a look at a few of our easy ideas beyond cerveza and margaritas.
Easy Fiesta Décor
Décor should reflect the vibrant Mexican culture. Have lots of colorful banners, a festive playlist, and hanging paper flowers for an instant fiesta feel. Centerpieces can be bright arrangements of native Mexican flowers like marigolds, Mexican Cosmos, dahlias, poppies, and sunflowers. For the no-fuss host, simply buy assorted sizes of cacti for a muy rapido shortcut. Try a homemade or store bought piñata and display it proudly until it is time to take a swing. Don’t forget the outdoor market lights and candles for when the sun goes down. Trust us, guests will want to stay late for this one!
Bright idea! Buy inexpensive sombreros at a party supply store and leave for guests as they walk in the door and to take home as a party favor.
Tacos; yes, salsa; yes, guacamole; yes! While these dishes are not the most original, these foods are Mexican staples, versatile, easy to make, and delicious- so serve away! We also love a good taco bar with plenty of options for different salsas and toppings. For more unexpected fare, try tequila shrimp skewers, carne asada, chicken mole tostadas, or be very traditional with these true Cinco de Mayo dishes from the Puebla region of Mexico.
Bright idea! Serve salsas, gauc, beans, and chips in a variety of different sized unused terra cotta planters for an authentic street food feel.
Mexico knows sweets and let’s just say we amor all the simple sweets that have made their way onto our plates from our neighbors to the south: churros with chocolate, Mexican fried ice cream, cocadas (coconut candies), tres leche cake, dulce de leche, sopapillas, and the brightly fruit flavored Mexican popsicles we can never turn down.
Bright idea! Don’t have time to make dessert? Call your favorite Mexican restaurant and order soppapillas, simply warm in oven, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before serving. Don’t forget
the honey for dipping!
Yet another item Mexico gets right, beverages! A tart margarita, a refreshing light cerveza are easy enough for us to serve, but moving beyond the salt rimmed glasses there are many cocktails that will be equally as popular. The grapefruity Paloma packs an unassuming punch with flavor (and tequila!), or a Picante de la Casa has spice and the brightness you’d expect from a Mexican cocktail. Traditional Mexican beers with lime are a must for any Cinco de Mayo celebration, and simple enough to place in coolers for guests to crack open on their own. Add something new to beers by making micheladas: half beer, and half spicy tomato juice for less of a buzz.
Bright idea! Make a big batch of cocktails ahead of time, omitting the ice. Allow guests to serve themselves in pitchers, punch bowls, or standing beverage dispensers. Have ice, salt, and citrus wedges close by!