If you usually go out for tacos and margs on Cinco de Mayo, do something different this year: invite everyone over for a fiesta! May 5th marks the Mexican army’s triumphant victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. It has also grown into a huge part of American culture and has become one of the biggest holidays of the year to kick off all the outdoor spring/summer parties ahead.
Prep the Patio and Garden
Keep it small and host in your own backyard. Just make sure you’re prepared for the weather in advance because there’s nothing worse than a party that gets rained out! If you don’t have a covered patio, get a pop-up canopy tent that’s easy to install and will keep everyone dry if the clouds roll in.
Decorate the Space
Your Cinco de Mayo decorations should consist of lots of red, white, and green in honor of Mexico’s national colors. Get balloons, confetti, streamers, and banners to really bring out the festive factor. If you want to add some DIY elements for a touch pf personalization, use a piece of handcrafted artistry, such as a table runner. Then warm up the table décor with a collection of candles or small potted cacti. (Note: the cactus is an important cultural symbol in Mexico representing life.)
Food for Thought
Yes, you can take the easy way out and serve tacos and quesadillas and no one will bat an eye. But There are plenty of authentic Mexican dishes that are easy to make, such as chalupas. Chalupas started out as a popular street food and are basically thick tortillas, lightly fried and layered with salsa, onion, and shredded chicken or beef. Keep it fun by having a special section for a “salsa bar” featuring traditional pico de gallo to fruity peach-mango varieties, and even a super spicy hot sauce that only the bravest of the brave would dare try. Don’t forget to end the meal on a sweet note with churros! The cinnamon-sugar sticks go perfectly with warm chocolate and caramel dipping sauces.
Try one of Mexico’s most famous cocktails: the Paloma. This refreshing drink combines lime juice, grapefruit soda, and your favorite tequila. Many people are drawn to the paloma because of the grapefruit flavor. Unlike a frozen margarita, it has that effervescence from the bubbles. (Who can resist a cocktail with bubbles?!) For the beer lovers, make sure to have a case of cold ones stocked up. Save the Coors and Miller Lite this time in favor of Modelo and Dos Equis.
Fun & Games: Whack a Piñata
While piñatas are traditionally reserved for kids’ parties, you can make the game ‘adult’ by putting some fun grown-up things inside, too, like mini bottles of booze or hot sauce. (Besides, being blindfolded and swinging a bat at the hopes of unhinging a bunch of goodies is fun for every age!) An adult piñata is also a fairly easy way to add something unexpected to parties–and a low-key, low-pressure way to create an activity that will get people buzzing.