9 Cinco de Mayo Drinks You Need in Your Life Right Now

When it comes to Cinco de Mayo — the holiday that has been celebrated since 1863 in honor of the Mexican Army’s defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla the year before — most people default to mixing up margaritas.

Sure, you could do that. But you could also put a little more effort into the cocktails you are making on any given day. It doesn’t matter if you have any connection to the historical roots of Cinco de Mayo — the least you can do is show some respect by putting in more effort. Below, you’ll find some delicious Cinco de May drinks to fulfill all of your needs, most of which feature an agave-based spirit (aka tequila or mezcal).

Tequila Twist

Tequila Twist Casa Noble Anejo Tequila

Method: Place all ingredients, except lemon peel, in glass. Sdd ice and swizzle. Squeeze lemon peel; rub around rim and drop into glass.

Spicy Lover

Spicy Lover Corralejo Silver Tequila

Method: Fill shaker with ice. Measure and pour all ingredients into the shaker. Shake well. Pour entire contents of shaker into garnished bucket glass.


Texecutioner cocktail Esquire Tavern by Emma Janzen
Emma Janzen

(Created by Houston Eaves, Esquire Tavern, San Antonio)

Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice and shake well. Strain into a coupe glass. Express the oil from a grapefruit swath over the top of the drink for aromatics and garnish with grapefruit twist. 

Jamaica Cooler

Jamaica Cooler Milagro Silver Tequila

(Created by Jaime Salas, Milagro Tequila National Ambassador)

  • 1 part Milagro Silver
  • .75 parts ginger hibiscus syrup (dried hibiscus, fresh ginger, and sugar)
  • .5 part fresh lime juice
  • Club soda to top
  • Fruit and candied ginger to garnish

Method: Combine all ingredients, except the club soda, into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge or grapefruit round and candied ginger.

La Valoma

La Valoma Volcan Tequila Blanco
  • 2 oz Volcan Tequila Blanco 
  • 1.5 oz grapefruit juice
  • .75 oz lime juice
  • .75 oz agave syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Soda to top (grapefruit flavored sparkling water or grapefruit soda)

Method: Combine first five ingredients; shake and serve over ice. Top with choice of soda water.

Laguna Salada

Laguna Salada cocktail Arbella

(Created by Eric Trousdale, Arbella, Chicago)

Method: Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into double rocks glass over once large ice cube. Garnish with grapefruit peel.

The Rising Sol

Rising Sol Casamigos Cocktail
Felipe Cuevas

(Created at Casa Tua Cucina at Saks Brickell City Centre, Miami)

  • 1.5 oz Casamigos Reposado Tequila
  • .75 oz fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz agave nectar
  • .5 oz roasted spicy pineapple syrup
  • Pomegranate seeds and pineapple leaves to garnish
  • Ginger beer to float

Method: Muddle pomegranate seeds in tin shaker. Add all other ingredients except the ginger beer and shake for 8-10 seconds. Double strain into glass and add ice. Top with ginger beer float and garnish with pomegranate seeds and pineapple leaves.

And for those that want something other than an agave spirit …

Red Lady

Red Lady Botanist Gin by Bret Redman
Bret Redman
  • 2 oz The Botanist Gin
  • 1 oz  Cointreau
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 drops homemade orange bitters
  • 2 strips julienned red bell pepper

Method: In a shaker, muddle the red bell pepper. Add all remaining ingredients. Shake without ice vigorously, then add ice and shake briskly. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a strip of julienned Red Bell Pepper.

The Castaway

The Castaway Crater Lake Sweet Ginger Vodka

Method: In a cocktail shaker, muddle leaves of 1 sprig of thyme. A dd ginger vodka and pineapple juice. Fill with ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a thyme sprig.

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