Every year we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the U.S., but do all of us know why we celebrate this day with margaritas and cervezas? The 5th of May, or Cinco de Mayo, commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French in the state of Puebla in 1862. Now that you know why we celebrate this voluntary Mexican holiday, why not throw a fiesta and celebrate Cinco de Mayo the traditional way?
If you have not had the pleasure of visiting Mexico, most Mexican fiestas are filled with vibrant colors and décor. To decorate the table or serving table, think bright hued paper flowers in a white vase or real red and white carnations in a royal blue vase for starters! Use Mexican blankets as tablecloths or runners, and adorn your table with multi-color glass votives for a little ambiance. Hang cut-out paper banners and chili pepper lights in your backyard over the dining table to add a little lively interest to your fiesta!
It is not a fiesta without some delicious Mexican food and drinks! You can never go wrong with chips, salsa, and guacamole for starters, but if you want something more authentic try Emirl’s Empanaditas con Picadillo Clasico with Classic Picadillo or since we are in the South, try Paula Deen’s Cheesiest Fried Chicken Empanadas with Chili con Queso dip! For the main course, go big with chicken, beef, or cheese enchiladas, tamales, and a taco station with all the toppings. If your guests thought they were full after the main course, remind them of dessert! One favorite Cinco de Mayo deserts is Tres Leches cake, or to be really different try something spicy such as chocolate covered jabanero peppers! You make this sweet and spicy treat the same way as chocolate covered strawberries with the stem attached. You can cover the peppers in either white or dark chocolate and sprinkle the opposite flavor on top for a pretty and festive presentation.
Now that we have helped you out with some menu items, we would not let your guests go thirsty! Margaritas and Coronas are pretty much a standard at Cinco de Mayo celebrations, so serve your margaritas on the rocks (rim the glass with salt) and your cervezas cold. Another fruity and refreshing option would be red or white peach sangria. Serve the sangria over ice and add orange slices for the red, and peaches for the white. For a non-alcoholic beverage serve limeade with lemon and lime slices over ice.
Below you will find some links to some of the recipes above to guide you on your way to your Cinco de Mayo fiesta! So break out the sombreros and gather your friends and family and make May 5th a day to celebrate!