Celebrate Cinco de Mayo early this weekend with a taco bar fiesta! Whip up a batch of margaritas, mash some avocados for guacamole and prepare a variety of taco fillings to please everyone. Let guests assemble and garnish their own, then let the party begin. We’ll show you how.
Start off the party with a Cinco de Mayo must: margaritas! While the classic flavor will be a crowd-pleaser, we also love this grapefruit-chipotle version with a thick salt rim. A pitcher of strawberry agua fresca makes a great nonalcoholic thirst-quencher for kids and adults.
No Cinco de Mayo party is complete without that Mexican staple, guacamole. Mix a big batch and set out plenty of chips for dipping, because this crowd-pleaser goes quickly (and you’ll want extra guac to top your tacos later on). Serve warm cheese quesadillas, which also take well to being topped with guacamole. For something different, offer pepita dip, a spread made with pumpkin seeds, tomatoes and chilis.
Now for the fun part: set up a build-your-own taco bar. You’ll need a stack of warm corn tortillas, plus your fillings: slow-cooked and shredded short ribs, grilled salmon, and satisfying black beans for a vegetarian option. Fill bowls with toppings for garnishing, such as a few different salsas, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, avocado, cheese and lime wedges.
For dessert, keep it simple with scoops of coconut ice cream, topped with tropical fruit like mango or papaya.
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Make salsas. Prepare the short ribs, cool, cover and refrigerate. Make the ice cream and freeze. Sauté vegetables and prep beans for the tacos and refrigerate.
- Day of: Prep vegetables for appetizers and other ingredients for garnishes (except avocado; it will discolor and should be cut just before serving). Make the pepita dip. Mix the agua fresca and refrigerate.
- Just before serving: Reheat the short ribs and beans and grill the salmon. Warm the tortillas and the quesadillas. Make the guacamole. Mix margaritas one at a time for the best, freshest flavor.
If you like, take your cocktails to the next level with a full margarita bar, including a blender, salt for rimming, and flavored mixes. Don’t forget some durable glasses if you’re entertaining outside. Also, check out our tequila guide to learn about all the different styles and tasting notes of the spirit.
Choose napkins and a table runner in a bold, colorful print to create a lively table; to add color and spirit, consider Mexican hacienda-inspired plates and bowls that also happen to be shatterproof, outdoor-friendly, and perfect for use all summer long. We love serving guacamole in a traditional molcajete for a special presentation.