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5 Fun and Easy Ideas for a Festive Cinco de Mayo Fiesta


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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

cinco de mayo taco spread

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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

cinco de mayo cocktails paloma

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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

cinco de mayo food ideas beer

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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

cinco de mayo party ideas food micheladas

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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

cinco de mayo party supplies

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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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