Cinco De Mayo Cocktails

Oh heyyyyy friends! We’re just a few days away from celebrating Cinco De Mayo, and I’m getting ready to cheers with a few of my favorite girlfriends over all my favorite things – specifically margaritas and tacos – mmmm….

A few weeks ago, I preemptively celebrated the holiday with Katie, Jess, Randi, Jennie and Sarah to whip up a few Cinco De Mayo-inspired cocktails with mescal and tequila from Drizly. I’ve been margarita’s #1 fan for many years, but we decided to have a cocktail-off with mezcal to try to mix things up a little bit. After a very serious voting we tied over which margarita we thought was best, so you’ll just have to make them both yourself and cast your vote accordingly 😉  Here’s a few of the cocktails we whipped up for our own Cinco De Mayo celebration! We taste tested tequila and mescal cocktails to see which ones we’d recommend whipping up for your next Cinco De Mayo {or really any!} celebration. I’ll let you be the judge, but I’ll tell you our verdict later in this post! I can’t give away all my secrets quite yet…I’ve always been a sucker for a classic margarita, and whenever I’m ready to unwind during warmer weather, I’ll always order a margarita over anything else. I love margaritas that taste fresh, crisp and have the perfect balance of tart and sweet…I’m already dreaming of making my next batch!

A big part of the perfect margarita is finding the right tequila, and we used Jose Cuervo Reserva Platino which is one of my all-time favorite tequilas for cocktails. Adding a little Cointreau gives the drink the perfect sweet balance with the acidity of the lime juice, which makes your drink perfectly smooth and delicious for summer-time drinking. We added some ice cubes with jalapeños for an little extra kick – and let’s be honest, they also made the drinks prettier too 😉  The Perfect Classic Margarita

Makes 2 drinks //  5 minutes

• Lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish
• 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
• 4 ounces high quality blanco tequila (see note above)
• 2 ounces Cointreau
• 1 1/2 ounces fresh juice from 2 limes

1. Run lime wedge around the outer rims of two rocks glasses and dip rims in salt. Set aside.

2. In cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).

3.Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. Garnish with lime wheels, serve and enjoy! Now, onto the mezcal cocktails! For those of you who haven’t tried mezcal before, it’s a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico. You’re probably thinking, “OH agave, I bet it’s sweet!”, but it actually has a distinct smokey flavor that adds delicious depth to your typical tequila cocktail. We wanted to use more of a high end mezcal for our cocktails {you know, because we’re classy like that!}, so we picked up Mezcal Vago Espadin from Drizly, which had hints of anise, plantains and caramel.

For our Cinco De Mayo fete, we made a cranberry mezcal julep cocktail that was strong and seriously delicious…perfect for Cinco!

Basil Cranberry Julep with Mezcal Cocktail

For the Cranberry Syrup:
• 2 cups 100% pure, unsweetened cranberry juice such as Knudsen Just Cranberry
• 1 cup sugar

For Each Drink:
• 2 ounces mezcal
• 1 ounce cranberry syrup
• 1/4 ounce agave nectar
• 6 basil leaves
• Garnish: basil leaves and 1/4 ounce extra cranberry syrup

1. For the cranberry syrup: Add cranberry juice to medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow the juice to reduce by half. Remove from the heat and then add sugar. Stir to dissolve.

2. For each drink: Add basil leaves and agave nectar to the bottom of a julep cup then muddle gently. Add mezcal and cranberry syrup, add the straw, then top with crushed ice. Drizzle extra 1/4 ounce cranberry syrup on top, garnish with basil leaves, then serve. Now, for the cocktail-off reveal. After much deliberation and debate, the winner of the cocktail contest was the classic margarita – but only by one vote! Honestly, they were both pretty delicious, but if you’ve never tried mezcal before {or are already a fan!} the smokiness isn’t suited for everyone. I personally was a fan of both, so I’ll definitely be making them again come May 5th! As for our actual celebration – it was so much fun to celebrate with a few of my favorite blogger ladies!  Jennie brought along some gorgeous flower crowns from A Crowning Event, and we ate all of Sarah’s famous salsa verde and Randi’s guac. Since I’m not very culinarily inclined, FTD Flowers saved the day with our bright and festive bouquets!

I hope you’re all planning to celebrate with something delicious for May 5th! If you’re in the market for a delicious cocktail recipe, we’ve got you covered 😉 xx

  • This was a really fun day! I loved celebrating Cinco de Mayo early with you!! And the classic margarita will always win for me! 🙂 We should get some marg’s soon! Have a good day Maya!!

    xo, Sarah

  • Alllll the margaritas!! 🙂 Love the flower crowns!

    Caitlin |

  • Definitely a tequila vote over here! This was so fun, thanks so much for including me! And your photos are fantastic. 🙂

  • Thanks for snapping these lovely photos! Have a great day!