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7 Excellent Cocktails for the Perfect Cinco de Mayo

by Keith langston
margaritas being served for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican culture and excellent cocktails with friends. Here's a roundup of some wonderful drinks to help make your holiday perfect!

Image: Arina P Habich

Cinco de Mayo (or, The 5th of May in Spanish) is a holiday with quite the history. Originally, the day celebrated Mexico’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. Since then, the holiday has become more about celebrating Mexican culture and spending time with good friends.

All the cocktails on this list have ties to Mexico, use alcohol from Mexican distillers, and are a great way to celebrate the changing of seasons. Invite some friends over and craft one of these excellent cocktails that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

 

Garden Mule

The Moscow Mule isn’t exactly associated with Mexico, but then again, the drink actually has nothing to do with Russia either. SKYY vodka added their own twist to the drink and created the Garden Mule. The drink is heavy on herbs and citrus, combining ginger, lime, and mint. Did you know that Mexico is the second-largest producer of limes in the entire world? So when you drink this summery concoction, you’ll not only be transported to the sunny shores of Cozumel, but you’ll most likely be using limes that came straight from Mexico!

SKYY Vodka’s Garden Mule

 

Ingredients: 

~ 5-6 pcs Mint Leaves

~ 2-3 pcs Cucumber Rounds          

~ .5 parts Lime juice

~ 1.5 pts SKYY Vodka

~ Ginger Beer top

~ Garnish: Cucumber Round, Mint Leaf/Crown

 

 Directions:

~ Muddle mint & cucumber in the glass.
~ Add ice and combine remaining ingredients.
~ Top with ginger beer and garnish with cucumber and mint.


Mexican Mule

For another interesting twist on the classic Mule, Spirits Network, an online network providing programming on cocktails and spirits, has offered up an exciting twist on the drink. Everyone knows a Moscow Mule contains ginger, but what happens when you swap it out for ginger kombucha? Add to that the smoky flavors of authentic Mexican mezcal, and you’ve got yourself a full-bodied powerhouse of a drink!

Mexican Mule from Spirits Network

Ingredients:

~ 2 ounces Mezcal Amaras Cuopreata

~ 4 ounces Ginger Kombucha

~ 1 ounce Lime Juice about 2-3 limes

~ 1 ounce orange Juice about 2-3 limes

~ 1 ounce Honey Simple Syrup

~ Sparkling Water (Topochico is recommended)

~ Lime or Ginger optional (as a garnish)

Directions:

~ In a cocktail shaker with ice, add all the ingredients.

~ Shake until chilled, then strain into a tall glass with fresh ice.

~ Top each glass with a splash of sparkling water and stir briefly.

~ Garnish with a fresh slice of lime or a thin slice of ginger.

 


Non-Alcoholic Paloma

While the margarita is the Mexican cocktail that has gained the most fame north of the border, the Paloma is actually one of the most celebrated and popular cocktails in all of Mexico. The drink is usually a combination of grapefruit and tequila and is a perfect way to quench your thirst on a warm afternoon. Even better, this non-alcoholic version (which uses award-winning, non-alcoholic tequila from Ritual Zero Proof) makes a perfect way to celebrate with younger family members or anyone who abstains from drinking. Plus, with the phenomenal flavor, you’ll never know you’re drinking something non-alcoholic!

ruby non-alcoholic paloma cocktail

Ritual Zero Proof Paloma

 

Ingredients:

~ 2 oz. Ritual Tequila Alternative

~ 1/2 oz. lime juice

~ 4 oz. grapefruit soda (You can even try making your own!)

~ Garnish: grapefruit or lime wedges (or why not both?)

 

 Directions:

~ Pour Ritual Tequila Alternative and lime juice into a glass with ice.

~ Top with soda and garnish with lime and/or grapefruit.

 

 


Salty Cinnamon Dog

Speaking of Palomas, the drink’s American cousin is known as the Salty Dog, and the tequila is replaced with gin or vodka. And in Frankly Organic Vodka‘s rendition of the drink, the sweet spice of cinnamon is added. Cinnamon is another popular spice in Mexican cuisine and is most notable for creating Mexican hot chocolate, as well as churros. In the Salty Cinnamon dog cocktail, the warming spice of cinnamon blends perfectly with the tart sweetness of the citrus, creating a cocktail with a certain something special.

gorgeous Salty Dog cocktail

Frankly Organic Vodka’s Salty Cinnamon Dog Cocktail

Ingredients:

~ 2 oz Frankly Organic Grapefruit Vodka

~ ½ tsp kosher salt

~ Zest from 1 lime

~ Pinch of cinnamon

~ ½ fresh squeezed lime juice

~ 4 oz sparkling grapefruit juice

Directions:

~ Blend salt and zest.

~ Rub lime wedge on the rim of the glass and dip in salt.

~Add Frankly Organic vodka, cinnamon, lime, and grapefruit juice to the glass.

~ Stir and garnish with grapefruit slices.


Cold Brew Repo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican classic! The Cold Brew Repo is Mezcal Amarás Reposado. Mezcal is a famous smoky tequila from Mexico, and the state of Oaxaca is considered to be the capital of mezcal production. The cocktail also contains cold brew coffee, which also happens to be cultivated in the state Oaxaca, as well as Chiapas and Veracruz. But the real surprise of the drink is the addition of Lemon Oleo Saccharum, which adds a surprisingly bright flare to the otherwise earthy drink. This is a cocktail best sipped and savored to truly appreciate its complexities.

oak-colored coffee cocktail

Cold Brew Repo by Mezcal Amarás

Ingredients: 

~ 1.5 oz of Mezcal Amarás Reposado

~ 1 oz of Lemon Oleo Saccharum

~ 10 Fresh mint leaves

~ 1 oz of Cold brew coffee

Directions: 

~ Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously with ice for 15 seconds.

~ Fine strain into a rocks or highball glass filled with ice.

~ Garnish with two fresh mint leaves.


The Buenos Dias

Grounds and Hounds Coffee has also provided a coffee cocktail that’s guaranteed to spice up your holiday. The cocktail is made using the brand’s Two Tail Espresso blend, which combines beans from Mexico, Sumatra, and Papua New Guinea, creating an intoxicating and complex brew. The deep espresso is then paired with cinnamon, vodka, and orange peel to create a unique cocktail that’s almost like a boozy Mexican coffee. The drink’s flavors also make it perfect for cleansing the palate after a meal.

The Buenos Dias from Grounds and Hounds Coffee (Photo: Fakaury)

Ingredients:

– 2 oz. Espresso (Grounds & Hounds Two-Tail)
– 1 ½ oz. Vodka
– 1 oz. Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur (or Kahlua)
– 1/2 oz Cinnamon infused Simple Syrup
– Dash of Salt
– Twist of Orange Peel
– Ground Cinnamon

Directions:
~ Fill shaker ¾ way with Ice
~ Prep Espresso Machine to ensure water is ready to brew
~ Add Vodka, Coffee Liqueur, Cinnamon Syrup, and Salt to Shaker and set aside momentarily
~ Grind and brew espresso and quickly transfer freshly brewed espresso into the prepared shaker
~ Seal and shake vigorously for 15 seconds
~ Pour strained cocktail into a martini coupe
~ Twist the zest of orange over top of the cocktail and then gently brush the rim of the martini coupe with the orange peel
~ Top with espresso beans or an orange peel, and a dash of ground cinnamon


Mezcal Margarita

For a truly authentic drink, El Silencio‘s mezcal margarita is a must-try. El Silencio is made in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico using traditional methods handed down by generations of mezcalaros. Their agave is roasted, crushed, and then double-distilled, giving their brew a full-bodied flavor. Because of the premium mezcal, this margarita requires only three ingredients, allowing the robust mezcal flavor to shine through and be the star of the drink.

Delicious margarita over ice

El Silencio’s Mezcal Margarita

 

Ingredients: 

~ 2 oz Mezcal El Silencio Espadín

~ 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

~ ½ oz Agave Nectar

~ Garnish: Lime and chili salt

 

Directions:

~Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin filled with ice and shake briskly for 15 seconds.

~ Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice.

~ Garnish with a lime wheel and Tajin or chili salt.


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