Cinco de Mayo Made Easy
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!
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.
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.
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.