Many mistakenly think Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s independence, but it doesn’t—Mexican Independence Day is actually on September 16. Cinco de Mayo instead commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War.
In current times, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage—especially through food and drink.
We’ve rounded up a number of recipes to help your bar and its guests raise a toast to Mexico!
Cutwater Spirits Oaxaca Old Fashioned
1.5 oz Cutwater Reposado tequila
.5 oz Cutwater Mezcal
.25 oz agave syrup
1 dash angostura bitters
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled rocks
glass. Garnish with an orange zest.
Recipe courtesy of Cutwater Spirits.
Clean and Skinny Margarita
2 oz Clean T
2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
2 (1/6) Wedge of Lime Squeezed add to shaker
1 Small Pinch of Sea Salt
Add Clean T, fresh orange juice and a SMALL pinch of sea salt to a cocktail shaker. Take two wedges of fresh lime then squeeze and drop them into the shaker too. Fill the shaker with ice, shake hard and fast, then strain into a tumbler/lowball glass. Fill the glass with ice then garnish with a fine slice of both lime and orange.
Recipe by Clean Co.
2 Cups Dos Hombres Espadin Mezcal
1 ½ Cups Pomegranate Juice
½ Cup Fresh Orange Juice
¼ Cup Lime Juice
⅛ Cup Orgeat Syrup
2 Cups Blood Orange Soda
Add all ingredients to a punch bowl, add ice, stir to incorporate. Garnish with orange slices, lime slices, and pomegranate seeds.
Recipe by Dos Hombres Mezcal.
1 pinch salt
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
1 lime wedge
0.5 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2 drops Tabasco sauce
1 pinch ground blackpepper
1 pinch celery salt
Chilled Mexican lager beer
Lime wedge for garnish
Add equal parts salt and Cayenne pepper to a plate or shallow bowl. Rub the lime wedge along half of the pin glass’ rim and then dip the rim into the salt-cayenne mixture. Add the lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, black pepper and celery salt to the glass. Fill with the chilled Mexican lager beer and garnish with a lime wedge.
Recipe by Margaritaville Resort Orlando.
Rambler Grapefruit Ranch Water
1 part Rambler Sparkling Water
1 part Grapefruit Juice
1 Lime Wedge, squeezed
Stir and pour over ice. Use lemon or mint as garnish.
Recipe by Rambler Sparkling Water.
El Rio Picante
2 oz. Forge and Foundry Rum
1 oz. The Perfect Purée Chipotle Sour blend, thawed
1/2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. agave
1 full dropper of Chili Tincture*, (8-10 drops)
Chipotle Salted Rim**
For the *Chili Tincture:
6 small-medium habanero chilis, (with seeds)
Overproof vodka (150 proof)
For the Chili Tincture, slice chilis and cover with vodka. Let stand in a closed mason jar 24-48 hours, or until desired chili flavor is achieved. Finely strain into a dropper bottle.
For the cocktail, combine Chipotle Sour, lime, pineapple juice, Chili Tincture and rum in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake 10-15 secs. Strain over fresh ice in a half rimmed rocks glass rimmed with Chipotle Salt. Garnish with lime slice.
Recipe by Maggie Mae Dale, Forge & Foundry Distillery, Stillwater, MN.
2 oz. blanco tequila
1/2 oz. Pomp & Whimsy gin liqueur
3/4 oz. The Perfect Purée Prickly Pear puree, thawed
1 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain and serve in an old-fashioned glass with ice.
Recipe by Suzy Tweten / Mixologist, Los Angeles, CA.
Mango Passion Fruit Paloma
1 1/2 oz. Tequila Cazadores
1/2 oz. The Perfect Purée Mango Passion Fruit blend, thawed
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients with ice, minus grapefruit soda. Shake, strain and serve on the rocks. Top with grapefruit soda.
Recipe by Manny Hinojosa, Global Brand Ambassador Tequila Cazadores.
1 oz. Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
¾ oz. Tequila
¼ oz. Aperol
2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
Build ingredients over ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with lemon or lime wheel.
Recipe by Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey.
Watermelon Meets Lavender
1 ½ oz Recuerdo Mezcal Joven
½ oz orange juice
½ oz simple syrup
2 oz fresh watermelon, diced
1 oz Lavender infusion (to prepare boil 2 cups of water, remove from heat, and add 4 tablespoons dried lavender flowers. Allow to steep for 30 minutes, strain, and cool.)
In a blender blend the orange juice, lavender infusion, and 1.5 oz of fresh watermelon (reserving .5 oz for garnish). Strain into a shaker with ice, add the Recuerdo Mezcal Joven and simple syrup and shake vigorously. Strain into an old-fashioned glass with ice, top with a splash of sparking wine, and garnish with a lavender flower and remaining watermelon.
Recipe by Recuerdo Mezcal.
Hornitos Don Francisco Margarita
2 Parts Hornitos Plata or Reposado Tequila
1 Part Orange Juice
½ Part Lime Juice
¾ Part Honey Syrup
Salt & Chili Powder Rim
Put equal parts salt and chili powder on a plate. Use an orange or lime wedge to wet the rim of the glass, and gently roll it into the salt/chili powder. Combine cocktail ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into your rimmed rocks glass over fresh ice.
Recipe by Hornitos Tequila.
White Peach & Raspberry Margarita
2 oz El Bandido Yankee Blanco Tequila
1.5 oz white peach syrup
4-5 muddled raspberries
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 oz lime juice
Mix ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice. Pour over a full glass of ice.
Recipe by El Bandido Yankee Tequila.
Diablo en la Pista de Baile
1 1/2oz Don Papa Rum
1/2oz Reposado tequila
3/4oz Guava juice
1 thin disc of Serrano
Muddle chili disc in shaker. Pour in Don Papa, tequila, guava juice, lime and agave. Add ice and shake. Strain into rocks glass w fresh ice. Garnish w lime wheel.