How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Home

Cinco de Mayo celebrations might be all margaritas, mariachis, and multicolored ruffles, but in the U.S., the fiesta has taken on a complete life of its own.

In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is a nationwide celebration of Mexican culture, food, and heritage. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo doesn’t commemorate Mexican independence. Instead, it marks the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, a military victory over Napoleon III and the French. It is, however, embraced in the United States by both Mexican Americans and people of other cultures. It’s a holiday known for margaritas, Mariachi music, parades, bright colors, and of course, food!

Take your fiesta virtual this year with tips from some of Mexico’s top hotels, restaurants and experts as they provide beyond-basic margarita recipes ranging from mango to cucumber jalapeño, share some authentic Mexican dishes and let the music flow with Cinco de Mayo playlists to get you dancing.

Be Transported to Mexico in One Bite

For most, the typical Cinco de Mayo is a day of eating tacos and drinking margaritas. But what makes traditional Mexican food so different? For starters, you won’t find basic ground beef hard shell tacos topped with iceberg and cheddar cheese. But, you will find carnitas topped with queso fresco, homemade salsa verde and of course, mole poblano. Many of the recipes featured below originated in Puebla, and some are just Mexican cuisine staples with a twist on a classic.

Rosewood Mayakoba Shrimp Tacos

Surrounded by jungles and pristine beaches of the Riviera Maya, Rosewood Mayakoba offers guests a gorgeous, peaceful retreat with something for everyone. A native of Mexico City, chef Juan Pablo Loza, offers a global culinary perspective, having cooked in several countries around the world including Spain, the United States, Argentina, England and more. With over 15 years of award-winning culinary experience, his fun dishes don’t disappoint. Try his fresh shrimp tacos topped with pico de gallo and a tangy marinade for an added garnish.

One&Only Palmilla’s Chef Sandro Falbo

One&Only Palmilla’s Chef Sandro Falbo brings Mexican flavor into your home with a variety of recipes this Cinco de Mayo. For a Mexican feast, try the signature guacamole recipe, fish tacos and Mexican pizza. The wide variety of restaurants and bars at One&Only features traditional Mexican classics, Asian fusion, ocean-fresh local seafood and fine steaks in an unforgettably dramatic setting. The ultra-luxury retreat located on the edge of Baja Peninsula offers colonial-style rooms and suites with captivating views across the Gulf of California and the Sea of Cortez.

Aarón Sánchez’s Enchiladas with Mole

For those of you who haven’t tried a recipe from Aarón Sánchez, the an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author and philanthropist, you’re missing out. He’s known as the chef and owner of authentic Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans, and a judge on FOX’s culinary competition series MasterChef. As one of the world’s most distinguished Latin chefs, Aarón is also passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen. Check out his recipe for turkey enchiladas with the savory-sweet mole sauce.

Mahekal Beach Resort’s Fuego Shrimp Ceviche

Located on the pristine Playa del Carmen beach, Mahekal Beach Resort is an oasis. Featuring upscale casitas and palapa-style accommodations, it’s the perfect relaxed, luxury resort for the discerning traveler and an ideal spot for a wedding or family vacation. Mahekal’s newest oceanfront restaurant and bar, Fuego, offers an array of Mexican cuisine that is locally sourced from the surrounding area. Executive Chef Crescenciano Nerey prepares all meals over the open flames of the wood-fired oven grill, and serves up vibrantly colored dishes, such as slow-roasted Caribbean Grouper, Mexican Octopus and the well-known Fuego Shrimp Ceviche.

Gabriela Cámara’s Chilaquiles

Five years after she moved to the United States from her native Mexico, Gabriela Cámara has become widely known around the world for her culinary fame. Her 20-year-old restaurant, Contramar, is a loved lunch and dinner destination in Mexico City. Her San Francisco restaurant, Cala, has established her culinary skills in the U.S. for her take on modern Mexican food. It would only be fitting to learn a Mexican recipe from the acclaimed chef herself. Learn how to make her version of Chilaquiles, a traditional comforting Mexican dish of freshly-fried tortilla chips doused with homemade salsa verde, avocado, and fried eggs that works perfectly for any meal.

Salud Amigos

As a special occasion, Cinco de Mayo calls for a special margarita. Everyone knows there’s no real party without the best cocktails and refreshing beverages. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best Cinco de Mayo drinks to really kick off your fiesta. However, while there are an endless number of great tequilas you can and should sample, this year give mezcal a try instead. While tequila is technically a variety of mezcal, this increasingly popular spirit is as diverse as it is delicious and perfect for a celebratory cocktail or two.

Waldorf Astoria’s Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal sets the standard for luxury. The hotel is so exclusive that reaching it requires driving through a striking private tunnel. Set on a long sweep of beach at the base of towering mountains, the style here blends modern design with local artisanal details. The oceanside dining and bar offers locally sourced menus highlighting the celebration of Mexican traditions and flavors with ingredients sourced from Baja, California all the way to the Yucatan. Try the refreshing Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita with sweet-citrus flavor and subtle heat from jalapeño pepper juice.

Vidanta’s Mango Margarita

Vidanta’s luxury collection of resorts are located on the most coveted beaches of Mexico, including Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Acapulco, Puerto Peñasco, and Puerto Vallarta. A lot of care and passion goes into every dish created, including the elevated and unique cocktails. Known for a cocktail menu featuring remixed tropical favorites, you can now make your very own Vidanta Mango Margarita at home.

Pueblo Bonito’s Famous Frida Margarita

Located on Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach in Cabo San Lucas, La Frida Restaurant Cabo offers one of the best fine dining experiences in the area. The restaurant is part restaurant and part museum in tribute to the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Pueblo Bonito’s Famous Frida Margarita, is a hand-crafted gem that blends two uncommon agave spirits harvested and distilled outside of tequila’s Jalisco domain.

Todos Santos Bar Watermelon Mezcal Cocktail

For all the Mezcal lovers, enjoy a refreshing Watermelon Mezcal cocktail, courtesy of the jungle bar, Todos Santos Bar at Casa Jaguar in Tulum. The cultural venue sits deep in the heart of Tulum’s jungle offering Mexican food inspired by ancient Oaxacan dishes. The ingredients are unbelievably fresh, and that shines through in the drinks. As the cocktails are definitely a highlight, the entire experience is enhanced by the picturesque open-air jungle setting.

Kitchen Table’s Diablito Cocktail

Kitchen Table in Tulum is one of the best eco-friendly restaurants in all of Tulum, and features mouth watering Caribbean delicacies, prepared by top chefs, using only local ingredients to create enhanced traditional recipes. Enjoy watching the sunset and at night sip on a hand-crafted cocktail while you watch the chef prepare your meal in the open kitchen, right in the center of the restaurant. This Cinco de Mayo, try something a little spicy with bold flavors, known as the Diablito.

Dance the Night Away

To commemorate the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday and honor the work of its musicians, the makers of CHI-CHI’S products, the nation’s celebration-focused salsa and tortilla brand, are going to help make everyone’s quarantine ‘Mucho Better’ with a live, socially-distanced daylong virtual mariachi music festival on Tuesday, May 5 called “Singo de Mayo. Along with CHI-CHI’s, the music festival is put on by the Mariachi Heritage Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that focuses on celebrating and preserving the rich cultural heritage of mariachi music and other Mexican heritage arts.

The celebration doesn’t stop there. Many hotels in Mexico have curated their very own Spotify playlist to set the right mood for an at-home party. Our favorites include the Four Season Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas vibes for your at home Cinco de Mayo celebration and The One&Only Palmilla at home playlist. This way, everyone can both celebrate Mexican culture and pretend, even just for a little while, that we’re all sitting on the beach in Mexico instead.

Support Your Favorite Bar From Afar

When we think of Cinco de Mayo, we think about celebrating Mexican culture with good food, close friends and family. For most people, the festivities are all about spending time together at a local bar or restaurant. And while you’ll be mixing up drinks at home as Cinco de Mayo will be celebrated differently this year, it is important to remember the bartenders and restaurant workers who have always made the holiday so special.

“People need joy, humor and connectivity now more than ever. Tequila Don Julio’s It’s Cinco Somewhere campaign nails it while also raising desperately needed funds for a community that has been hit exceptionally hard,” said Cameo COO Arthur Leopold. “Being able to support this campaign enables us to contribute to a good cause as well as reward participants with the thrill of connecting with incredible celebrities in exchange for their generosity.”

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