Just like we toast the Irish on St. Paddy's Day, we raise a glass every May 5 to celebrate Mexico's rich heritage and the many nationalities that make up America's cultural fabric. Cinco de Mayo is also the perfect excuse for an early spring gathering of friends, fresh guacamole and full-strength margaritas. Read on for a few ideas on how to make your Cinco soiree one to remember.
Dips + Apps Station
Serve with crudité and your favorite tortilla chips. Warm the chips up if you like. If you think Seven Layer Dip feels like old hat, try setting the clock on how fast it disappears. People can't get enough of the stuff!
The Salsa Taste-Off Station
No doubt your guests will ask what they can bring. Instead of flubbing the answer, try upping the ante with a salsa taste-off. Each guest brings his or her favorite salsa to share. Throughout the party, tasters rank the competing salsas. The results get tallied, and the winner either takes home a prize or must perform a mariachi song solo. All in the name of good fun, of course.
Ideas to inspire the salsa competitors:
Set out big silver buckets chock-full of good Mexican beer such as Negra Modelo or Dos Equis. If you really want to go the distance, treat partygoers to Mexican Coke—made with real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup like it is in the U.S.
No Cinco de Mayo is complete without margaritas. Variations abound, but this authentic celebration calls for the classic version. Depending on the size of your guest list, consider making pitchers in advance or appointing a bartender to serve them up, on the rocks or blended.
Playlist + Décor
- Keep it simple but colorful with bright bunches of fresh-cut flowers, paper flags and maybe a piñata or two. If you’re headed outside, string up lights or lanterns for a festive glow.
- Before guests arrive, tune into the "Cinco de Mayo" Pandora station for a fresh take from popular artists on classic Mexican numbers. Viva la Mexico!