As Cinco de Mayo celebrations gear up today in the United States, so does the imbibing of frozen lime margaritas. But in actuality, the margarita is hardly Mexican in origin, and the Fifth is not as widely celebrated in Mexico as it is in the United States.
Mixologist Alex Valencia, from the Jalisco region of Mexico himself, wanted to create “real” Mexican cocktails, inspired by his own personal history as well as some local insight into how tequila is actually enjoyed in the country.
It’s rare – and perhaps with good reason – for two of the nation’s most-highly anticipated drinking events to converge on the same day. But the gods of inebriation have spoken, and that’s the reality we now face.
In case you forgot, tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo, the commemoration of Mexico’s 1862 victory over imperial France at the Battle of Puebla. In the U.S., the holiday has morphed into a more generalized celebration of Mexican-American culture fueled by chips, “guac,” and a deluge of half-priced margaritas.
Here’s the conflict: The 2017 Kentucky Derby, Louisville’s annual horse race, also kicks off tomorrow afternoon – which means mint juleps will be as ubiquitous this weekend as the event’s famously flashy spring fashions.
This leaves us with one question: As revelers line up at their local watering holes, which drink order will keep bartenders the busiest? Will it be the mint julep, a perfect marriage between fresh mint and the honeyed taste of bourbon? Or the margarita, with its invigorating flavor collision of salt, sugar, lime and – of course, tequila?
Here at Food Network, we’ve reached an impasse, so we’re calling on our fans to settle this one for us:
Though tacos and margaritas may get most of the spotlight at Cinco de Mayo celebrations, the highlight of any feast for sweet-toothed diners is dessert. Here are our favorite classic and creative takes on Mexican-inspired recipes for the dessert course.
This impressive Mexican dessert pairs chocolate cake with flan for a fun and deliciously layered treat. The cake batter and flan mixture are poured into one pan and separate into two distinct layers during the baking process.
For me and most of the people I know, celebrating Cinco de Mayo has always involved a quick after-work injection of Mexican food straight to the belly. Tacos dispensed from beloved neighborhood food trucks, salty chips and big batches of “guac” mashed table-side at local Oaxacan restaurants — even a good-old fast-food burrito dressed in silver foil are all distinct possibilities. But this year at Food Network, we’re excited to start a new Cinco de Mayo tradition. Here’s a hint: It involves waking up early.
Hold the groans and just imagine the cheesy, eggy delights you might expect to find on the breakfast table — now imagine them dressed in Mexican flavors, like zingy salsas, juicy pico de gallo, freshly torn cilantro leaves, a runny egg, crumbled cotija or queso fresco … I could go on and on. But without further ado, here are a few of our favorite Mexican breakfast dishes that make rolling out of bed totally worth it. And if you really can’t bear the thought of waking up, it’s perfectly fine to enjoy these dishes for lunch or dinner, too!
Here’s a peppery, vegetarian take on an enduring favorite. Skip the basic Mexican cheese blends you’ll find at the supermarket and try to get your hands on some Oaxaca cheese instead; it has a similar texture to mozzarella and melts beautifully.
If you’ve been looking forward to Cinco de Mayo since last May 6, we suggest you go big (or, er, go home?) this year. It’s likely you’ve already planned after-work margaritas and tacos, but don’t miss out on the perfect occasion to grab Mexican flavors for breakfast, snack time and dessert, too.
With Cinco de Mayo just one day away, we’re already busy chopping cilantro and chiles for our favorite salsas and guacamoles to serve with big bowls of crisp, salty tortilla chips. But when it comes to the drinks menu, there are too many craveable Mexican-inspired cocktails to pick just one. From tart margaritas to fruity aguas frescas and spicy eye-openers like the michelada, Mexico’s many drinks are as vivid, flavorful and satisfying as the foods they accompany. Here are some of our favorite Mexican and Mexican-inspired refreshers for your Cinco celebration.
No tricks here — just the staples of a classic margarita: Tequila, lime juice, orange-flavored liqueur, salt and sugar. Add a touch of homemade simple syrup if you like yours on the sweeter side.
You’ve bought all the tortillas you’ll need for the tacos and enchiladas, and you’ve readied the blender for frosty margaritas. But have you considered what to offer in your spread of starters? Look no further than this collection of party-ready dips ideal for Cinco de Mayo (or any other bash), complete with both classic and creative picks like creamy queso, tangy salsa and even something sweet.
Chile con Queso
The Pioneer Woman bulks up the tried-and-true chile-laced cheese dip with crumbled sausage for meaty, comforting heft.
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.
Tequila, mezcal, micheladas, even Mexican Coke: Mexican beverages are having a moment. Surfing the wave of south-of-the-border sips is rice-milk-based horchata. All across the U.S., creative bartenders are mixing the traditional drink into boozy, cinnamon-scented concoctions. Read more
Whether you’re truly celebrating Mexico’s triumph over the French in 1861’s Battle of Puebla or merely looking for a reason to eat your weight in churros, Cinco de Mayo is a great time of year to revisit dessert recipes that celebrate the flavors and ingredients of Mexican cuisine. From classics like rice pudding and tres leches cake to new interpretations like Mexican chocolate brownies and margarita pie, we’ve rounded up our favorite Mexican-inspired sweets.
It’s never a problem convincing my kids to celebrate. They’re even pretty game for trying new foods. But the non-negotiable part about feeding most small fry is heat: They just don’t like anything spicy. You see where I’m going with this, right? It’s time for a made-over Cinco de Mayo party, one with kids in mind. This collection of delicious recipes is perfect for introducing a flavor blast of fun, without turning your first grader off salsa for life. Check out my tips below for kid-friendly party starters, new twists on taco night and even make-ahead meals you’ll thank yourself for later.