Easy, delicious cocktails and appetizers to create cinco de mayo happy hour at home.

Cinco de Mayo

I love to celebrate cinco de mayo.  Maybe it’s because it’s an excuse to celebrate.  And yes, it’s quite cruel that cinco de mayo 2020 falls on taco Tuesday and we are all sheltered in place and can’t truly enjoy it.  But we have the perfect solution for you including an at home celebration that is a cinco de mayo happy hour!

cinco de mayo happy hour

As a former Spanish teacher, I am well aware that we, in the United States celebrate cinco de mayo as a major holiday and in reality in Mexico it’s a pretty normal day.  It’s not (as many believe) Mexican Independence Day, it’s the celebration of the victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. But I love a good reason to celebrate as much as the next person, so let’s keep the spirit of cinco de mayo alive in the United States and raise a glass!

To create a super fun cinco de mayo celebration (especially because this year we’re all sheltered in place), I’ve linked up some fun items on our Bubbly Side of Life Amazon storefront.  

Cinco de mayo happy hour

Yes, it’s time for another Team Cocktail + Bubbly Side of Life happy hour!  We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate cinco de mayo together (but apart since we’re still sheltered-in-place) than to host a cinco de mayo happy hour and, of course, you’re invited!  

We are going to be making this traditional cocktails and of course, BUBBLY-izing them for a bit more fun.  

So….

  • Register your email address here.  If you joined us on our last one, you know that we pick our grand prize winner from those who pre-registered with their email address.  (And it’s a GOOD grand prize so you don’t want to miss out!)
  • Grab your cocktail ingredients and make these with us live on Instagram
  • Follow @teamcocktail and @bubblysideoflife on Instagram
  • Prep your happy hour appetizer and/or taco bar
  • Get ready to HAVE FUN!

Best Margarita Drink Recipes

When you think of Mexico, cinco de mayo and Mexican food, you automatically think of margaritas, right?  And I don’t know about you, but while those pre-made mixes are super convenient they are not very yummy.  And you can doctor them up for sure, but can we show you a simple way to make a margarita from scratch that we promise you will be much more enjoyable?

The margarita originated during prohibition (as all good things did, right?) and many believe that the  first creation of this infamous cocktail was made in Tijuana, Mexico.  Now there are several tales of this origin of this cocktail, but this seems most fitting, doesn’t it?

Of course, there are several ways to enjoy a margarita:  frozen, on the rocks, straight up and even swirled with some sangria!  

  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila 
  • 1 oz Orange flavored Liquor:  Triple Sec/Cointreau/Grand Marnier 
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Agave or Simple Syrup (to taste)
  • Lime wedge to garnish

Download the recipe card.

Margarita drink

3 Ways to Make Margaritas

Prep your glass: Run a juicy lime wedge around the rim, then dip the rim in coarse Kosher salt, and set aside.

On the rocks:

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake well and pour into a glass with ice.  And don’t forget to salt the rim of the glass.

Blended:

Place all ingredients into a blender with ice, blend until slushy and ENJOY.

Straight up:

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake well and pour into a glass. And don’t forget to salt the rim of the glass.

To “Bubbly-ize” it, we’re going to top it with some brut bubbly. 

TIP:  If you don’t have orange flavored liquor, you could use orange Gatorade or orange flavored soda like Jarritos.

Fruit Margaritas

To make fruit flavored margaritas, you typically take our original recipe, add frozen fruit (with the syrup) and blend.  It’s as simple as that.  The most popular of course, is strawberry, but fruits like mango, peach, banana, melon, raspberry are quite popular as well.  

Strawberry margarita cocktail

To “Bubbly-ize” this, you can top it with rosé or brut bubbly.

TIP: When making fruit flavored margaritas, you may want to eliminate the orange-flavored liqueur.

Paloma Mixed Drink

Another favorite Mexican cocktail is the Paloma. And the history of this drink is very elusive and quite controversial (thanks to some jokesters on the internet).  

The word Paloma means dove in Spanish.  Some say it was named after a folk song and some call it the “working man’s drink.”  It’s believed that this cocktail didn’t even exist before the creation of grapefruit sodas like Squirt which was in 1938 in the United States, but it didn’t export to Mexico until 1955.  Jarritos, that also has a grapefruit flavor wasn’t created until 1960.  

Here’s the original version of a Paloma:

  • 2 ounces tequila (blanco or reposado)
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice (fresh)
  • Grapefruit soda

Squeeze the lime into a glass, add tequila. top it off with grapefruit soda.  Add ice and ENJOY!

Paloma mixed drink

And of course, we had to “Bubbly-ize” it….and we did change the recipe a tad to do so.

  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 oz tequila 
  • Top with bubbly

Squeeze the lime into a glass, add grapefruit juice and tequila, give it a stir and top it off with bubbly. 

TIP:  You can substitute vodka or grapefruit vodka for tequila and it’s just as delicious!

Sangria

While sangria is traditionally a drink you would enjoy in Spain, we’re going to include it into our cinco de mayo celebration anyway.  Not to mention, it’s finally warming up and a pitcher of sangria is the perfect deck drink.  

Now interestingly enough, in northern Spain, they don’t love sangria at all and they call it the drink to disguise bad wine.  So that being said, you don’t need an expensive bottle of red wine to create this.

I was spoiled in Spain and learned how to make the “perfect” sangria and typically can only find it at good Spanish restaurants back here in the states, so let’s teach you how to make the perfect sangria, shall we?

Red Wine Sangria

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 1/2 oz Brandy
  • 2 T Sugar
  • 12 oz club soda/sparkling water
  • Red wine:  Rioja/White Merlot
  1. Cut up the apple and pear into small bite size pieces and place into a 2-quart glass pitcher.
  2. Cut the lemon, lime and orange into thin slices and place into the pitcher.
  3. Add sugar and brandy and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Add red wine, stir and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Before serving, top it off with 12 oz club soda or sparkling water.  
Red wine sangria

To “Bubbly-ize” sangria, we are going to replace the club soda with some brut bubbly.  

A few important tips:

  • This is not a drink you can just whip up and enjoy….it needs time…at least 2 hours, but the longer you give it the better it is….you can refrigerate it overnight and serve the next day.
  • The most time consuming part, but most important part is cutting up the fruit.
  • Pear is the key fruit!
  • If you are making this on a gloriously hot summer day, freeze grapes to use as ice cubes and put them in when you pour it into a glass, do not soak them with the other fruit.
Sangria fruit

Happy Hour Food

This is happy hour and who doesn’t love taco Tuesday or a happy hour with a plate of nachos?

And even better, bubbly pairs so well with salty chips, what is more perfect than these bubbly cocktails paired with Mexican food? 

Since bubbly pairs so well with salty, fatty foods, we decided to whip up my most favorite, easiest and biggest crowd pleasing dip ever.  

Chili and Cheese Dip

  • 8 oz of whipped cream cheese
  • 1 can chili no beans
  • 1 bag shredded cheddar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the cream cheese evenly on the bottom of a pan.  
  3. Spread the chili no beans on top of the cream cheese.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on the top.
  5. Put in the oven until the cheese is fully melted. 
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.  
Easy appetizer for your cinco de mayo happy hour

TIP:  IF you have leftovers, when scooping it into the container take a knife and cut up the cheese so it’s easier to reheat and serve.  

And as long as you have the chips out to dish up this delicious appetizer, you might as well put  out some salsa and guacamole as well.  Chips, dips and bubbly cocktails=an amazing happy hour!

Taco Bar

Now, if you don’t fill up on chips and dip(s), then it’s time for a full blown taco bar.  

cinco de mayo happy hour

While they do take a bit of prep work, taco bars are perfect for everyone since each person can custom make their own perfect taco.  Go ahead and print off this grocery list to create the perfect cinco de mayo dinner.  

Taco bar party grocery list

And if you’re looking for taco holders, themed plates, tablecloths, etc. to complete your taco bar spread, I’ve linked the ones we use to our Amazon Storefront.

Cinco de mayo party supplies

Register for Happy Hour

And don’t forget….

  • Register your email address here.  If you joined us on our last one, you know that we pick our grand prize winner from those who pre-registered with their email address.
  • Grab your cocktail ingredients and make these with us live 
  • Follow @teamcocktail and @bubblysideoflife on Instagram 
  • Prep your happy hour appetizer and/or taco bar
  • Get ready to HAVE FUN!

We can’t wait to virtual happy hour with you again!  ¡Celebremos!

By the way, if you’re curious as to how the Team Cocktail + Bubbly Side of Life happy hour/relationship came to be….check it out right here.  

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