Wednesday, April 27 2022 10:33

Cinco de Mayo Cocktails

Written by Elizabeth Hughes

Margaritas and more for your Cinco fiesta

Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) is celebrated widely in the U.S. Though many think it’s Mexican Independence Day (that’s September 16), the date actually celebrates the Battle of Puebla, an 1862 battle won against French forces under Napoleon III.

In fact, the majority of Mexicans don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo, although it is celebrated in the Puebla region, where the battle was fought. But here in the U.S., the date has become a popular time to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture.

To toast Cinco de Mayo this year, try these drinks, courtesy of local restaurants that mark the day.

View PDF version here.

The Fuego Verde

From Taco Grande in Wilmington

2 oz. Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila

1 oz. fresh lime juice

1 oz. cilantro simple syrup*

2 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

*Cilantro simple syrup: Blend 1 bunch cilantro with 3 cups water. Strain with a cheese cloth. Match the liquid produced with sugar. Stir until well combined and dissolved.


Shake tequila, lime juice and cilantro simple syrup and strain over fresh ice.

Top with 2 dashes of mole bitters.


Yields 1 drink.

Orange Hibiscus Margarita

From Bomba Taco + Bar in Malvern

1.5 oz. Cazadores Reposado Tequila

.5 oz. Ferrand Dry Curaçao

2 oz. margarita mix (equal parts lime juice, orange juice and agave nectar)

2 oz. orange hibiscus juice*

*Orange Hibiscus Juice

1 qt. water

.5 oz. dried hibiscus

Rind of an orange

Add water, dried hibiscus and orange rinds to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once water boils, remove from heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Place in the refrigerator to cool.


Shake tequila, curaçao, margarita mix and hibiscus juice.

Strain over fresh ice.

Yields 1 drink.

Más Fiesta Margarita

From Más Mexicali Cantina in West Chester

Classic Frozen Margarita Base

1.25 oz. tequila

.75 oz. triple sec

1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

16 oz. ice

Verde Margarita (green bottom layer)

2 oz. mango puree

.5 oz blue Curaçao

.5 oz simple syrup

Blanco Margarita (white middle layer)

3 oz. simple syrup

Rojo Margarita (red top layer)

4 oz. strawberry puree

Lime slice for garnish


Combine ingredients for the Classic and Verde margaritas in a blender and blend until thick. Pour equally into 3 glasses.

Next combine ingredients for the Classic and Blanco margaritas in a blender and blend until thick. Pour into the 3 glasses, on top of the Verde layer.

Then combine ingredients for the Classic and Rojo margaritas in a blender and blend until thick. Pour on top of the Blanco layer to get the colors of the Mexican flag.

Garnish with a lime slice and enjoy!

Yields 3 drinks.

Note: Be sure to clean your blender between each colored layer!

Spicy Classic

From Estrella Tacos y Mas in Downingtown

2 oz. chili-infused rum

1 chile de árbol

.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

.75 oz organic agave

Spicy rim (chipotle powder, sugar and salt)

Lime slice for garnish


Add rum, chile, lime juice and agave to a shaker and shake for 30–35 seconds.

Rim a glass with spicy rim ingredients.

Fill the glass with ice and double strain the cocktail.

Garnish with a lime slice.

Yields 1 drink.

Wondering what’s the difference between tequila and mezcal?

To start, they’re both agave-based spirits. But tequila is a type of mezcal (think of how bourbon and Scotch are types of whiskey).

Mezcal can be made from 28 different varieties of agave and is produced in nine Mexican states.

Tequila, on the other hand, can be made only from the blue agave plant, and in more limited regions. Tequila is made primarily in the state of Jalisco and in a few select municipalities in other states.

There’s also a difference in taste, owing to different production methods. To make mezcal, agave hearts are slow-roasted in a pit, then mashed and fermented, producing a distinctly sweet and smoky taste.

For tequila, the agave hearts are typically steamed or roasted in an oven before being mashed and fermented. The flavor is affected by how long the tequila is aged, ranging from the young, agave-forward tasting blanco to the oaky, vanilla flavored extra añejo, aged for more than three years.

No matter your preference, both tequila and mezcal are quintessential Mexican spirits adding an authentic taste to your Cinco fiesta.

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