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girls' night

Cinco de Mayo Made Easy

Throw a fun taco party: Roberto Santibañez, culinary director for Maria Maria restaurants (owned by Carlos Santana), provided the recipes. We created the invites, games, and favors. Just add your friends.
(Marcus Nilsson)

1. Get inspired
Cinco de Mayo dates back to May 5, 1862, when Mexico won the decisive Battle of Puebla. Today, many Mexican towns host festivals in honor of the holiday—in fact, this photo, taken in modern-day Puebla, was our inspiration for the perfect fiesta!

2. Make invites
Mexican-themed vintage postcards—this one showing a scene from a movie—are a playful way to introduce the party. lasirenanyc.com, postcards $1.50 each.

3. Set menu
passion fruit margarita
guacamole
red salsa molcajete
restaurant-style refried beans
grilled adobo-marinated chicken tacos
mango cream with berries

4. Mix cocktails
Give the typical on-the-rocks offering a colorful twist—not to mention some serious tropical flavor—with tasty, salt-rimmed passion fruit margaritas.

5. Decorate
Set the mood with mini sombrero place cards and a festive Mexican paper banner. lasirenanyc.com, mini sombrero $6, papel picado $10.

6. Prep the sides
The guacamole, red salsa molcajete, and restaurant-style refried beans complement the tacos—and both the salsa and the beans can be prepared in advance. williams-sonoma.com, molcajete $49.

7. Eat tacos
Grilled adobo-marinated chicken tacos are a fun, build-your-own main course.

8. Play a game
In lotería, as in bingo, a caller draws cards, players place black beans over the items called, and the first to cover all her squares wins. lasirenanyc.com, lotería $8–$12.

9. Pass out favors
These handmade gifts are real crowd-pleasers—and they're easy to assemble.Just string Mexican beads and charms (we chose bells and skulls) on twine and tie around candleholders. johnderian.com, Geraldine Gonzalez glass-and-paper candleholder with tea light $30; lasirenanyc.com, Mexican skull bead and bell charm $1–$2 each, custom matchbox $6.

10. Indulge
Light, melt-in-your-mouth mango cream with berries—served with a side of cookies—is a sweet note on which to end the festivities.

 
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