When we think of drinks for Cinco de Mayo parties the first thing that comes to mind is Tequila. While there will be lots of Jose Cuervo, Patron, Mescal, and other spirits consumed on Saturday, there are a lot of other flavorful and fun options that will work well with the Mexican or southwestern-themed cuisine on your party table.
There are numerous Mexican beers available in most area grocery stores and party shops including some old stand bys and a couple lesser-known beers from our southern neighbors:
Corona Extra and Corona Light - The #1 selling Mexican import for decades.Light in body and flavor and very easy to drink. Corona has a great web site with party ideas and recipes. (Enjoy with a lime)
Dos Equis Lager and Amber - Another popular brand that offers the lighter lager and a darker, richer amber with a little more body and flavor. Stay thirsty my friends! (Enjoy the lager with a lime)
Modelo Especial and Negra Modella - Perhaps the most flavorful of all the Mexican imports. The Especial is light in color, but full of flavor and body. The Negra is one of the few Mexican dark beers available in the USA. It is rich and malty with nut and toast flavors.
Pacifico - The lightest of all the Mexican beer I tried. Quite popular in Southern California and in the resort towns in Mexico frequented by Americans. Something a little different to have in your cooler for your party this weekend.
Ready Made Cocktails
Chi-Chi's "Skinny" Margarita - The best of the ready made margaritas that I tried. Good citrus flavor with distinct lime and real blue agave nectar. Contains real tequila and triple sec (20 proof) and only 95 calories per serving. Just put in a blender or pour over ice to enjoy.
Bacardi Classic Cocktails - Rum is a popular second choice to tequila for Mexican cocktails. I sampled the Classic Mojito which was delicious with its cool mint flavor and lime flavor. Made with Bacardi Superiore Rum so it has a little kick to it (30 proof).
Mikes Classic Margaritas - An American twist on the Mexican tradition of Margaritas. Comes in three flavors: Traditional Lime, Raspberry and Peach. Very tasty, a little sweeter, lower in alcohol, and available in 12oz bottles to go right alongside your beer in the fridge (5.5% ABV).
Trivento Mendoza Malbec Reserve - Malbec is a wildly popular varietal these days and no one is doing it better than Argentina. Will go great with tacos, beef dips, nachos and steaks or burgers on the grill.
Florentina Torrontes - Torrontes is the native white grape of Argentina. It is light in body with citrus and tropical fruit flavors and a touch of flora on the nose. similar to American Sauvignon Blanc. Great with chicken fajitas or fish tacos.
Natura Carmenere - Carmenere is the native grape of Chile. Very bold and spicy with some deep cherry and berry flavors to balance the spice. Natura was one of the first 100% organic wineries to import to the USA. Great with a variety of foods especially cheese dips and spreads.
I hope these recommendations can help add a little more variety flavor to your celebrations this weekend. Until next time, cheers and bon appetite!