Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, and that means the only question we have (before we leave work and start crazy, tequila-fueled weekends) is what drink should we start with? Because while there are plenty of great two-for-one margarita deals at local chain restaurants over the next few days, there are also many celebratory cocktails that will help you party… while also stimulating your tastebuds a little. Welcome to your Cinco de Mayo cocktail roundup, where we won’t be celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day, because that’s not actually what Cinco de Mayo celebrates.
There will probably be more than a few people at your festivities this weekend who won’t know that the holiday actually commemorates the Mexican Army’s surprising victory over French forces in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. But, to be fair, by the end of the night, there will probably more than a few people who won’t know a lot of things, except that they like margaritas. A lot. Which is why we’ve collected the very best margarita recipes for you. And for those of you who feel that you’ve been personally victimized by a certain frozen drink with salt on the rim in the past, we’ve got other great cocktails for you, too.
Says Trisha Antonsen of this vibrant Cinco de Mayo cocktail, “We’ve put a spring spin on the classic margarita by creating a simple syrup infused with the tangy floral flavors of hibiscus tea. Not only does this twist harmonize perfectly with the classic margarita flavors, but you are also left with a beautiful fuchsia cocktail perfect for any fiesta.”
- 1 1/4 ounces hibiscus tea simple syrup
- 2 ounces silver tequila
- 1/4 ounce Cointreau
- 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 ounces club soda
- Citrus salt
- Measure all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake for 10 seconds, then strain mixture into a margarita glass.
- Top with club soda.
- Serve over ice in glass rimmed with citrus salt.
Hibiscus Tea Simple Syrup Ingredients:
- 3/4 c loose hibiscus tea leaves
- 3 c Water
- 1 1/2 c Agave
Hibiscus Tea Simple Syrup Directions:
- Combine tea leaves, water, and agave into a sauce pan and bring up to a simmer until agave has dissolved.
- Allow syrup to cool slightly, which will also give the tea additional time to steep.
- Once cooled, pour syrup through a mesh strainer to remove the loose tea.
- Store in an airtight container.
- It will keep for several months if kept refrigerated.
Antonsen recommends adding some smoked paprika to the salt before rimming the glass of this classic, but oft-overlooked cocktail that is every bit as refreshing as a margarita.
- 2 ounces jalapeño-infused tequila
- 3 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 ounce lime juice
- (Alternative: try mezcal for a less spicy version that’s still big on flavor)
- In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine tequila, grapefruit juice and lime juice.
- Shake until cold, then strain into a salt-rimmed collins glass and garnish with a lime wheel and jalapeño slices.
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Fermented Korean red chili sauce in a classic Mexican cocktail? Brook Vandecar’s riff totally works, adding a sweet heat to a savory favorite.
- 6 oz Dominion Candi (Belgian style tripel) or beer of your choice
- 1.5 oz Gochujang michelada mix (see below)
- Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass halfway around.
- Place a mixture of equal parts Korean chili flakes and Kosher salt on the half moistened rim.
- Fill the glass with ice and add the michelada mix.
- Top with the beer, and stir 3 to 4 times to evenly distribute all ingredients.
- Garnish with a straw and a lime wheel.
Gochujang Michelada Batch Ingredients (yields 7):
- 2 oz Chung Jung One’s Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce
- 1.5 oz Crystal Hot Sauce
- 5 oz Fresh lime juice
- 1.25 oz Fresh orange juice
- .5 oz Worcestershire sauce
- .5 oz Old Forester Bourbon
- .25 oz Honey
- Add all of the ingredients into a pint-sized container and mix thoroughly.
- Store in the cooler when not in use. Shelf life of two days.
Anatol shares a recipe that may take a little more effort in the kitchen, but it’ll pay off big-time when you serve this impressive cocktail to your guests.
- 2 oz Mezcal Espadíno
- 3 oz Jugo de Piña Natural (Fresh Pineapple juice)
- 1 oz Jarabe de Jengibre (Ginger Simple Syrup)
- 1 gr Jalapeño
- 1 oz Jugo de Limón (Lime juice)
- 1 gr Jengibre (Ginger)
- 2 oz Espuma de Jamaica (Hibiscus Foam)
- Mix all and shake with ice.
- Strain into glass.
- Top with foam.
Ingredients for Hibiscus Foam:
- 2 gr Sucro
- 6 oz Hibiscus concentrate
Directions for Hibiscus Foam:
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl.
- Blend with an immersion blender or hand blender, mix until bubbles form.
- Scoop with a slotted spoon.
- 2 oz Don Julio 70
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz Jugo de Limón Amarillo (Lemon Juice)
- 1 oz Jarabe Natural (Simple Syrup)
- 2 oz Espuma de Sal de Colima (Sea Salt Foam)*
- Mix all and shake with ice.
- Strain into the glass.
- Top with foam and garnish with lime zest.
Ingredients for Sea Salt Foam:
- 2 gr Sucro
- 6 oz Water
- 2 gr Sea Salt (Colima, Mexico)
Directions for Sea Salt Foam:
- Blend ingredients with a hand blender and scoop with a slotted spoon.
Chef Gall combines two favorite margarita flavors for one bold and refreshing riff.
Salt Mixture Ingredients:
- Quarter Zest of one lime- Finely Chopped
- Kosher Salt or Margarita Salt
- Lime Wedges
- 2 oz Tequila- Cabo Wabo Reposado or Don Julio Anejo
- 2 oz Sweet & Sour Mix
- 1 oz Triple Sec
- 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 oz Prickly Pear Puree- Perfect Puree
- .25 ea Jalapeño- Seeded and Pithe Removed
- Take the finely chopped Zest and mix with the salt to create a rimming salt.
- Take a lime wedge and rum fruit section on rim for moisture and roll in the salt.
- Fill glass with ice or place in the blender for a frozen cocktail.
- In addition to the ice, place all other ingredients in the blender and blend for about 10 seconds to incorporate well.
- Pour over ice if not blended with ice. Enjoy a sweet-heat treat.
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If you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo near Ponte Vedra Beach, swing by TPC Sawgrass, where they’ll be serving up Jalisco Mules and Pina Peach Sombreros. Enjoy the drinks enough, and you might just stay longer than planned — the following weekend TPC Sawgrass hosts The PLAYERS Championship.
- 1.5 oz Don Julio Reposado
- 1 Slice of Peach/3 Jalapenos/3 Raspberries, muddled
- .25oz Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach
- .5 oz Fresh Lime
- 1.25 oz House made Peach Simple Syrup
- Combine all ingredients into shaker with ice, strain into collins glass.
Turn up the heat with NoMa’s feisty spin on Cinco de Mayo’s favored cocktail.
- 2 oz of Cuervo gold
- 1 oz of Cointreau
- Splash of sour
- Fresh muddles Jalapeno
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Shake and pour into a chilled glass.