Cinco de Mayo. The one day where all of America celebrates Mexico’s supposed independence (word to the wise: it’s NOT on Cinco de Mayo, but we digress). Here at Remezcla we’d like to give you some pointers on how to show off your fiery Mexi-side, because we, too, would like some simple tips on how to properly be festive on St. Patrick’s Day aside from wearing green and drinking beer. So if you’d like to throw a Cinco de Mayo party to properly dive into the Mexicana culture, here are a couple of quick tips––and it’s not all about the sombrero.
VIBE & DECOR
We Mexicanos love color. And we’re not talking drab pastorals, but bright colors that pop! Adorn your casa with a couple bunches of mixed-colored flowers and use a Coke bottle (plastic or glass) as a vase.
A great way to get the full effect of the Mexican ambiance is to hang papel picado throughout the room. Buy a packet of tissue paper in different colors, fold it up and cut little shapes into it, open up, see the magic, and hang it on a string. Here’s a step-by-step way to make papel picado. You can also add these easy-to-make paper flowers that you can hang throughout.
GAMES & ACTIVITIES
Lotería is one of the best games of all time. It’s considered the Mexican version of bingo, but playing with this card is a lot more fun and interesting than just calling out a bunch of numbers. You can play for money, or make it into a drinking game (losers do a shot each).
Even if you’re having your Cinco de Mayo party indoors, slamming a piñata is still possible––just make sure it’s a small one. As long as two people (ideally they’d be tall) are holding the rope on each end, piñata-breaking is doable. And here’s the kicker, all players should not only be blindfolded, but also on their knees––it is a kid’s game after all.
FOOD & DRINKS
You can’t go wrong with chips and salsa. Buy corn chips and make your own salsa (recipe below), just add chunks of mango––the sweetness helps to balance out the spicy and also adds a nice bright color to the presentation.
As a main course, carne asada tacos are always a hit. Get some small corn tortillas and allow them to warm up on both sides on a pan with a little bit of oil so the tortillas can have that street vendor taste. As for the steak, you won’t need an outdoor grill. Just buy thin skirt steak and cut it up in small pieces. Simply add cilantro and slices of lemon and you’re set.
Now for the best part, the drinks! Forget Corona and DosEquis. Buy Squirt (a soft drink) at your local bodega or grocery story and blend that with tequila and salt, and you’ll have a party on your hands. This mix drink has a powerful punch that won’t knock you out, which means you’ll keep drinking more and more.
1 mango – peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Allrecipes.com : In a medium bowl, mix mango, red bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and lemon juice. Cover, and allow to sit at least 30 minutes before serving.