Everyone looks forward to the 5th of May. The reason? Cinco de Mayo means spring has finally landed and it’s time to celebrate. One way you could celebrate is by heading over to you favorite, authentic, family-owned Mexican restaurant. If you want to keep it closer to home, how about hosting an outdoor Cinco de Mayo party? Here are 10 tips plus an added bonus for hosting the perfect Cinco de Mayo celebration.
10 Tips for Throwing the Perfect Fiesta
This year, why not use your indoor furnishings to create the intimacy of an outdoor room in your backyard, combining the thrill of al fresco dining with all the comforts of home. Use our tips, and a little help from your friends, to get the ball rolling:
- Bring out area rugs to set the stage; use them on your patio, deck or lawn.
- Put chairs, tables, poufs and ottomans on the rug.
- Set up a market umbrella or canopy to further define the room (and shelter your guests from the sun or an unexpected drizzle).
- Use strings of lights overhead and candles and lanterns below to create an enchanting (and oh-so-flattering) glow.
- Accent the area with potted plants, cuttings or fresh flowers.
- Incorporate the colors of the Mexican flag (red, white and green) in your food and decorations.
- Queue the music—nothing sets a mood better than the right party mix. Find a great Latin station or ask a friend to bring their own compilation, just be sure to keep it lively!
- Ask your guests to contribute to the refreshments. Everyone has that one special dish (or drink) they have perfected. Why not ask them to bring their take on the Cinco de Mayo theme? They’ll be happy to help and it’ll take some of the workload off you.
- If you’re grilling, be sure to include some vegetarian/healthy side dishes (you want to have something for everyone).
- Plan ahead so everything is ready to go once the party starts.
BONUS: Use our non-alcoholic drink recipe to liven up the gathering and give your party just the right punch!
Classic Mexican Aqua Fresca
14 cups melon (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, musk) cut in chunks saving a few slices for garnish
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
4 cups ginger ale or seltzer
2 cups raspberries – optional
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Puree melon and raspberries in batches in a blender or food processer until smooth. Strain puree through cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl, pushing pulp into the cheesecloth with the back of a wooden spoon. Combine superfine sugar and lime or key-lime juice, stirring until sugar dissolves (key limes have a stronger flavor than regular limes, so you can use less). Pour lime mixture into fruit juice and add ginger ale or soda. Wisk together. If using soda, taste for sweetness and add sugar accordingly. Make ahead and serve chilled in punchbowl or pitcher. Pour over ice with a skewer of melon and mint for garnish.
(Bright idea: Our punch recipe can be easily adapted to an over 21 crowd by adding vodka, light rum or tequila)
And that’s it. You’ve done all the hard work, now it’s time to sit down, relax and enjoy.