Skip to main content

8 delicious drink recipes for Cinco de Mayo (that aren’t all margaritas)

Want something besides a Margarita this Cinco de Mayo? Whip up one of these essential drinks

Cinco de Mayo has become a global celebration. From Mexico City to Montreal, people embrace the holiday with a festive drink in hand. And to do it right, you’ll need the appropriate cocktail.

While most Cinco de Mayo cocktails hover around tequila and other agave spirits, it doesn’t mean you have to be sipping the usual suspects like Margaritas and Palomas. No, holidays require creativity and flair and these nine drinks offer that and more. And if tequila is not your thing, try something new, like Sotol. It’s an age-old Mexican spirit that locals love and is just becoming popular north of the border.

Here are eight essential drinks to help you ring in Cinco de Mayo. ¡Salud!

Italian Rita

Italian Rita Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder


  • 1 ounce Martini & Rossi Fiero
  • 2 ounces Patron tequila
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce honey
  • Lime wheel


  1. Add ingredients to cocktail shaker and shake together.
  2. Pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Diablo en la Pista de Baile

Diablo Don Papa Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder


  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Papa Rum
  • 1/2 ounce Reposado tequila
  • 3/4 ounce guava juice
  • 1 thin disc of serrano chili
  • 1/2 ounce lime
  • 1/2 ounce agave


  1. Muddle chili disc in shaker.
  2. Pour in Don Papa, tequila, guava juice, lime, and agave.
  3. Add ice and shake.
  4. Strain into rocks glass with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with lime wheel.

Mijenta Paloma

Mijenta Paloma Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder


  • 2 parts Mijenta Blanco Tequila
  • 1 part grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 part lime juice
  • 1 part agave/cinnamon syrup
  • Top with Prosecco


  1. Shake all ingredients with plenty of ice.
  2. Strain into a wine glass filled with ice and top with Prosecco.
  3. Garnish with grapefruit peel.

Oaxaca Express

Oaxaca Express Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Created by Alex Valencia, La Contenta)


  • 2 ounces of Doña Vega Espadín
  • 1/2 ounce of jalapeno-infused agave nectar
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce of freshly blended cucumber juice
  • 6 to 7 basil leaves


  1. Start with basil leaves and combine all ingredients in your shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake for about 6 to 7 seconds.
  3. Serve on the rocks with a cayenne salt spice rim.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Created by Mike Callan, Tamarindo del Mar)


  • 2 ounces Corralejo Reposado
  • 1/2 ounce Magdala
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce aquafaba 
  • 2 small pieces of ginger (muddled)


  1. Shake all ingredients together.
  2. Microplane orange zest on top for garnish and serve up.

Spicy Mexican Mule

Spicy Mexican Mule Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder


  • 1 part Ancho Reyes Original
  • 1/4 part fresh lime juice
  • 3 parts ginger beer


  1. Fill a copper mule with ice.
  2. Add Ancho Reyes and fresh lime juice, and gently pour ginger beer on top.
  3. Stir lightly and garnish with lime and crystallized ginger.

The Curious Margarita

The Curious Margarita
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Created by Joseph Mortera)


  • 1 1/2 ounces The Lost Explorer Espadín
  • 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes Verde
  • 3/4 ounce agave syrup
  • 1 ounce lime juice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake it up.
  3. Strain into a Tajín-rimmed old fashioned glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with a single jalapeño slice.

Los Arango La Reina

Los Arango La Reina Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder


  • 1/2 ounce Los Arango Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 ounce dry Rosé
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 4 dashes pink peppercorn tincture
  • 2 drops rose water


  1. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake well.
  2. Rim a cocktail glass with cracked pink/black peppercorn salt.
  3. Fine strain the cocktail into your prepped glass.
  4. Garnish with a grapefruit twist and rim with the pink peppercorn tincture.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
Here are a half dozen Irish liquors worth trying (that aren’t whiskey)
St Patrick's Day doesn't have to always mean green beer and whiskey. Here are six other Irish liquors to look into.
6 Must-Try Irish Spirits

With St. Patrick's Day on the horizon, the masses tend to gravitate towards the standard Irish drinks. You know, a finger or two of whiskey and a Guinness to wash it all down. As tasty as the popular options are, Irish liquor has much more to offer in terms of intriguing fermented liquids.

From interesting gins and smooth cream liqueurs to things you've probably never heard of (Poitín), we've put together a half-dozen Irish liquors worth checking out this March and beyond. They offer new flavor profiles and reveal a country with way more to its name than just lagers, stouts, and whiskies. If you're looking for Irish drinks this St. Paddy's Day and perhaps tired of the same old, read on.

Read more
How to make Ranch Water the right way for a day-drinking gem
Looking for a refreshing beverage suitable for functional day-drinking? Search no more, ranch water is here.
Refreshing Cold Tequila Ranch Water Cocktail with Lime.

If there was ever a beverage built for day drinking, it's Ranch Water. The simple cocktail, born in Texas, can take the sting out of the hottest days and refresh you to the core, without knocking you out with an abundance of alcohol.

We're still hibernating our way through winter but the days are getting longer and, soon enough, the warmth will return. When that happens, you'd be wise to have some Ranch Water on hand for you and yours. Lighter than a Margarita and far more interesting than plain water, the drink resides in a happy middle ground. Better, it'll tackle your thirst and keep you functional.

Read more
Incredible St. Patrick’s Day drinks: Check out these fantastic cocktail recipes
These fun and dynamic drinks will be a surefire hit at any St. Patrick's Day celebration
Cocktail Crossing Currents Knappogue

St. Patrick's Day is a holiday for imbibers. Whether you gravitate toward spirits or beer, there's a St. Patrick's Day drink or riff for you to enjoy as America pours celebratory dye into its rivers and dons every article of green clothing it has. (There's even Irish wine, if you feel so inclined.)

Here, we're focused on mixed drinks, ones that flex some Irish flair or are at least inspired by the land of rolling green hills and shamrocks -- the kind of drink you can clutch triumphantly in hand as you observe a holiday more than 1,000 years old. We won't quiz you on who St. Patrick was, nor will we check your plate to make sure you're eating traditional Irish bacon and cabbage (though you probably should). We just want to give you another excuse to celebrate.

Read more