Viva Mexico – Throw an Awesome Cinco de Mayo Party.

Throw the best ever Cinco de Mayo Party.  Get all the details from Recipes to decoration and the perfect margarita.

I’m Irish and Italian, but my favorite cuisine is Mexican – or my version of Mexican.  I ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Emeryville, California so often that they finally invited me into the kitchen just before I moved to show me how to make my favorite dish – Chicken Mole, and a few other things they didn’t think I’d be able to find in a little town in Colorado. 

That started me on a journey to learn how to actually cook Mexican inspired dishes on my own.  So these may not be exactly authentic – if that’s what you are looking for you might be disappointed, but if you want easy to make stress-free Mexican flavors I think you’ll love these recipes.

The Menu

“Viva Mexico” Throw the perfect stress-free Cinco de Mayo Party

Mix and Match Mexican Recipes to make putting together this party supper low stress


Cinco de Mayo Beverages

Easy Classic Margaritas

Fresh Fruit Margaritas

A tub of Mexican Sodas

Mexican Beer served frosty cold in a tub of ice

Cinco de Mayo Main Courses

Chicken Fajitas

California Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Cinco de Mayo Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Beef Deshebrada

Chicken Mole

Cinco De Mayo Easy Sides & Appetizers

Fresh Pico de Gallo


Grilled Street Corn

Flour Tortillas (store-bought- I like Ole Xtreme Wellness high fiber, low carb.  they are only 5o calories)

Easy Baked Tostadas (I have a trick for these)



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The family at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Baja Cafe in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
The Plan

Viva Mexico – Throw an Awesome Cinco de Mayo Party. 

Celebrate Mexican independence with a south of the border inspired Mexican Fiesta.

We pretty much live in our backyard, I throw almost all my parties outside, poolside.  It makes it super easy for people to come and go as they please and it makes clean-up a breeze.

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Decorations:

This is a great time to head to my favorite place to buy inexpensive party decorations – The Dollar Store.  Grab some bright colored streamers and some fiesta party platters and paper plates and napkins and you’re ready to go.

We probably all have a Mexican blanket somewhere in the house, brought back as a souvenir or purchased as a yoga blanket if you have one consider using it as a tablecloth for the beverage bar.  It will absorb some of the water that sweats off the metal tubs of soda and beer.

Cinco de Mayo Lighting:

I hang strings of lights across the pool and over the dinner table.  This works inside as well, it adds a really festive touch.


This is a must-have –  we don’t have too many little ones anymore but the adults seem to like them just as much or maybe more.

Cinco de Mayo Centerpiece:

Use empty and cleaned cans of Mexican Foods to hold plastic utensils.  Buy some inexpensive cactus or other succulents to decorate your table.  They can then become part of this project.  It’s one of my next projects.

Cinco de Mayo Yard Decorations:

You could make bag lights to scatter around the yard, I skip this step since I have small dogs and small dogs and open flames don’t mix.  No trips to the emergency vet, for me.

Mexican Food:

Make it simple with a couple of slow-cooker dishes and create a make-your-own taco bar.  Serve with store-bought tortilla chips and tortillas.  Fresh pico de gallo is, worth the extra effort + with a food processor this comes together in no time at all.  Same goes for guacamole, it’s so easy to make and taste so much better than anything you can buy.

Mexican Drinks:

Put Mexican sodas (available at most grocery stores – if you can’t find it grab some flavored Fanta) and Mexican beer in metal tubs filled with ice.  Serve lime and orange wedges alongside the beer + thinly sliced jalapenos (make sure to seed them).  Make margaritas or buy good quality premixed.

Tequila Tasting Bar:

We have a tequila tasting tradition – some of the guests bring a bottle of unusual tequila to donate to the tasting bar, which makes this really fun.  Buy plastic shot glasses (Dollar Store) and have cut lime wedges and salt available for the tasting.

Designated Driver:

Seems like you just have to have a cocktail or 2 on Cinco de Mayo, so make sure you have a designated driver and the Uber app ready to go.

Collect Car Keys:

I hate arguing with someone who’s had one too many about driving home.  Inevitably they think they are fine, but I’m not letting anyone in a car that has been drinking.  So I collect keys when guests arrive.  No one really thinks about why I collect keys – they just know I do.  I have a bowl by the door and ask each guest to drop the keys in.  Obstensively this is so we can move cars around if needed.  No one ever questions it.  I put the key bowl in a cabinet and give keys back to guests as they get ready to leave.  Simple.  And since we usually have to move a car or two to let folks out, my story holds up.  Hope none of my friends are reading this – otherwise, I guess I’m busted.


Cinco De Mayo Decorations

Easy Decorations

Head to the dollar store to pick up Mexican streamers to hang + paper plates, napkin, and any serving trays you want to be able to just toss at the end of the night.

Use empty and washed Mexican food cans as utensil holders or planters for small cactus and other succulents.

This is also a great time to pull out your white Christmas lights to string across the yard or if the party is inside they work great there too!

Serving Platters

Shop your Closets

If you are like me you’ve probably brought back a souvenir or two (dozen) – like maracas, Mexican blankets, platters, chip and dip sets, decorative plates, serapes, hats, and pottery.  I even found a platter with a Mayan Calendar from 2000.  This is what you’ve been saving these things for all these years.  Now your husband can’t complain.  Look how much money you just saved 🙂

Perfect Decoration

We don’t have too many little ones in the neighborhood anymore – most have reached that awkward pre-teen time when nothing is cool.  But the adults love Piñata too + they add a pop of color and are just plain fun.  Pick one up at Walmart or Party City for under $15.

On-the-Rocks with Salt

Mix up a pitcher or 2 of the official drink of anything Mexican.  A Margarita is a perfect compliment to anything you are serving.  I love the classic lime, on-the-rocks with salt.  It’s easy to make a pitcher or two from scratch.  But it is perfectly acceptable to pick up a good quality bottle of pre-mixed Margaritas.  That’s what I’ll be doing this year, since our Cinco de Mayo party with actually be on the sixth.  Since it conflicts with our annual Kentucky Derby party.
Fresh Fruit Margaritas

On-the-Rocks with Sugar

I like to experiment with different fruit combinations + right now I’m really into using savory or spicy elements in my Margaritas.  These are my normal recipes but this year I’m going to try using the premixed margarita as the base for the creations.  I’ll let you know how that works out.
Ice Cold Beverages

Mexican Beer and Sodas

I have a bunch of metal tubs that I’ll fill with lots of ice and serve frosty cold Mexican beer, right now my husbands favorite is Sol.  Place lime and orange wedges + maybe a few thinly sliced fresh jalapenos (make sure you remove the seeds- and wear gloves when handling the chilies unless you want removing your contacts to be a really painful experience) next to the beer to make it easy for everyone to add their favorite.  I’m digging orange at the moment.


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Chief Mermaid & Mojito Maker

This is me hangin’ out on the boat – it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in the Florida Keys – doing what wannabe mermaids do best…splashing in the waves + soaking up the sun.

Life’s amazing.  Want to learn more?  

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