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Innovative Cocktails To Jumpstart Your Cinco De Mayo Weekend


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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.

Hibiscus Margarita — by Trisha Antonsen for Drizly

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.”

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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.

Spicy Paloma — by Trisha Antonsen for Drizly

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.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces jalapeño-infused tequila
  • 3 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • Salt
  • Jalapeno
  • Lime
  • (Alternative: try mezcal for a less spicy version that’s still big on flavor)

Directions:

  • 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.

Gochujang Michelada — by Brook Vandecar for Succotash — National Harbor, Maryland

Fermented Korean red chili sauce in a classic Mexican cocktail? Brook Vandecar’s riff totally works, adding a sweet heat to a savory favorite.

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