May’s most spirited holiday falls on a Sunday this year — the perfect day for a party! This celebration turns your dining room into a cantina, complete with decorations, snacks, and fun sips.
1. Simplify Dinner With Build-Your-Own Tacos
Take the pressure off hosting by offering guests a DIY taco bar, suggests party pro Seri Kertzner. To do: Place piles of warmed tortillas on a cutting board, then set out bowls of shredded chicken, salsa, lettuce, peppers, guacamole and other fixings. Tip: To ensure tortillas stay hot, wrap a stack in foil, set on a plate that’s been warmed in the microwave, and place on a trivet.
2. Offer Up a Creative Cocktail
Instead of the expected margaritas, Kertzner suggests serving guests another tequila-based cocktail with a kick: a paloma. To make each drink, stir one and a half ounces of tequila, three ounces of fresh grapefruit juice, and one ounce of simple syrup in an ice-filled glass. Finish with a splash of club soda, float in a jalapeño slice, and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
3. Double the Fun With Authentic Beverages
Serve bottled beverages from Mexico, like Corona beer or fruity Jarritos sodas ($17.49 for a six pack, Amazon) to refresh guests while adding a decorative element. Another idea: Pour the beverages into glasses and use the empty bottles as bud vases for individual blooms.
4. Spice Things Up
No Cinco de Mayo party is complete without Tajín Clasico seasoning ($3.19, Amazon)! The blend of chili pepper, lime, and salt adds subtle heat to everything from chicken dishes to mango wedges. To spice up cocktails, sprinkle the seasoning in a shallow dish, wet the glass rim with lime juice, and dip it in the seasoning before mixing up a margarita or paloma.
5. Treat Them to a Traditional Dessert
At Cinco de Mayo festivals across the country, you’re likely to find carts selling ice pops called paletas. To make your own: In a blender, combine two cups of frozen mango chunks, one cup of half-and-half and seven ounces of sweetened condensed milk. Purée until smooth, then pour into ice-pop molds. Freeze until solid, about two hours.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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