Cinco de Mayo Food and Drink Ideas

If you’re looking for inspiration for your Cinco or fiesta party, start with our amazing salsa tasting station ideas and Cinco de Mayo recipes. Make it a day of sun, salsa music and south-of-the-border flavors — from exotic cactus salsa with kick, to lime and cucumber skinny margaritas. Mini Micheladas and Salsa de Nopales are two of the unique and memorable ideas that will make colorful additions to your menu. Keep reading to learn how to fire up your backyard bash with interesting food and drink ideas complemented by beautiful multi-hued paper decorations and pretty serapes.

Idea 1: Must-try margaritas with Latin style

This colorful Aca’i Berry Margarita recipe adds a boost of antioxidant berries and can be created as a low-cal skinny version. Blended recipe: 4 cups ice, 10 oz. Aca'i berry juice, 2 oz. lime juice, 2 oz. tequila and 1 oz. triple sec. Garnish with grapefruit, rock candy and playful mustaches on sticks. To make low-cal Skinny Fresh Margaritas, mix 3 oz. tequila, 2 oz. lime juice, 4 oz. mineral water, 1 oz. margarita mix and ice in a shaker. Pour over ice, add cucumber slices, and garnish with mini peppers and candy. About 120 calories. Served on a clear tray with vibrant papel picado.

Idea 2: Create a Cantina drink menu

Make your own custom drink menu with a Latin vibe. Mix up trendy margaritas for señoritas and cervezas for señores. Fill out your drinks menu with aguas frescas (fruit juices) and a tequila tasting. Mix and match your favorite colorful trays and paper cutouts, playing off the colors from your drink creations.

Idea 3: How to set up a salsa tasting station

Trays of trendy mini glasses are perfecto for sampling a variety of authentic Mexican salsas, and check out how cute these jalapeño peppers work as sign holders! (The secret is pleated crepe paper stuck between two colorful labels, attached to a bamboo skewer.) The donkey and sombrero pinatas and papel picado garland add a rainbow of fiesta colors!

Idea 4: Stacked cake stands make a magn'ifico drink garnish display!

Lemon or lime? Mint or cilantro? Making margaritas with your amigos is half the fun – and with this colorful idea you can have plenty of garnishes and drink picks at the ready, all party long. Just stack two cake stands and fill them up with a bounty of citrus and jalapeños. Green shot glasses are perfect for holding a few wedges of lime and lemon, along with drink picks. Place a glass lined with cucumber slices on top, and make a "bouquet" of paper fans in your party colors.

Idea 5: Hold on to your sombrero! This beer has kick

A cool drink idea for hot nights. Micheladas are a spicy Mexican version of the Bloody Mary made with two parts light-color beer and one part tomato juice, the juice of a lime, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Garnish with dried red peppers, put chili powder on the rims, and turn up the mariachi tunes. Hot times!

Idea 6: Wow them with authentic Mexican cactus salsa

Everyone will be excited to try this unique and delish idea! For a "medium-hot" option, make Salsa de Nopales (cactus salsa). Bring to a boil: 3 cups water, 1/2 an onion, a handful of cilantro stems, a whole chile serrano, a garlic clove and salt to taste. Add 5 to 6 cleaned, diced cactus paddles and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Strain cactus and cool. Dice two tomatoes, 1/2 an onion and a handful of chopped cilantro. Combine with chopped cactus and pepper. Serve in mini cups with longboard chips. Yum.

Idea 7: Guests will agree…it's hot, hot, hot!

For your true salsa lovers, make an authentic Salsa Roja using dried chiles de arbol. Heat an oiled pan, add two large whole tomatoes, a white onion cut into fours, and about a dozen dried chiles. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning over until evenly charred. Remove chile stems, then blend chiles to a chunky paste. Add cooked onion, garlic and tomatoes, and blend to desired consistency. Salt to taste. Serve in mini glasses on hot pink trays.

Idea 8: A mild mango salsa appeals to everyone at your celebration

Everyone will eat up this tropical fruit salsa that's mild, sweet and refreshing. It's better chilled overnight, so make it the day before and you'll be livin' la vida loca at the party! Fill a giant margarita glass with 3 parts chopped mango, 1 part papaya, some diced onion and chopped cilantro, and the juice of a lime and lemon. Serve sample-size portions in mini margarita glasses with colorful tortilla chips.

Idea 9: The conga line starts here

A fiesta bash = a perfect excuse to soak up some sun and sip on frozen Red señor 'Ritas! It's easy to make a pitcherful in a blender with: 4 cups crushed ice, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 10 oz. strawberry margarita mix, 4 oz. tequila, 1 oz. triple sec and the juice of a lime. Give each girl's glass a pretty touch by adding a fiesta-themed paper cutout, a red tissue paper flower and a fresh strawberry.

Idea 10: Quench desert thirst with a cool tray of tequila shots

Every fiesta needs a taste of tequila! Pour it on with a tray of shots with lime and jalapeño garnishes. Create a cool sign with a mini skull, a blue paper baking cup and green label stickers. A reflective silver tray adds latin flair. Don't forget beverage napkins in matching kiwi green. !Salud!

Idea 11: Bright idea: use a sombrero pinata to serve chips

The rim of a sombrero makes a perfecto serving tray for tortilla chips. Use a colorful paper pinata or a real hat, and add personality with a cute moustache on a stick and a "salsa bar" note card sign. Have fun with extras like red pepper salsa bowls and bottles with mini sombreros on top, to give your fiesta bash a party-planner look.

Idea 12: How to turn your patio into a fiesta

Let your chips, salsa, guacamole and desserts take the spotlight by serving them with festive containers and trays. Create a joyful party vibe with paper decorations in beautiful hues, like bright banners and artfully placed cutouts.