15 Refreshing Cinco de Mayo Cocktails and Mocktails Your Guests Will Love
Every fiesta needs refreshment to go with all that 5-star Mexican food that's sure to be on the menu, so take a look at some of our best Cinco de Mayo drink recipes and ideas. You'll find classic Cinco de Mayo cocktails and non-alcoholic Cinco de Mayo mocktails to please everyone on your guest list.
The Perfect Margarita
First up is this on-the-rocks margarita by Chef John. He says, "Mastering the margarita requires a certain amount of practice, but once you dial in your perfect ratio, it's a really easy cocktail to replicate. The classic recipe is 3 parts tequila, 2 parts triple sec, and 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice, and you should probably start off pretty close to that, but my personal favorite proportions are 4-3-2."
Mexican Strawberry Water (Agua de Fresa)
Recipe submitter Olivia says, "Fresh fruit waters, or Aguas de Frutas, made with crushed or blended fruit are a common and popular drink all over Mexico. This recipe is extremely flavorful and refreshing, especially when fresh strawberries are in season." Be sure to start this recipe the day before the party to get the full flavor of the strawberries. The video will show you what to do.
Like margaritas, paloma cocktails are Cinco de Mayo drinks with tequila, but then tart and tangy grapefruit soda joins the party, too. This paloma version calls for the glass to be edged with a pinch of Mexican chili-lime seasoning for a spicy boost and eye-catching color.
Basic brewed coffee is dressed up with a splash of tequila and coffee liqueur in this delicious recipe. The bold flavor is offset with a creamy layer of whipped topping. "I found this to be a fun new drink to have with a dessert," says Chef Mo. "The tequila was a twist I wasn't used to have with coffee."
This top-rated blender margarita sees frozen limeade concentrate, tequila, and triple sec take a mad whirl in an ice-filled blender to create this satisfyingly slushy concoction. Julie Harris says, "I'm a bartender and when I saw this recipe I thought I'd share a tip or two for everyone. I've been using limeade as a sour mix substitute for years because it's just so simple and always on hand. If you add a half oz of OJ to the original recipe, it's even better. Plus, it never hurts to add the juice of a lemon or lime as it's blending."
Agua Fresca de Pepino (Cucumber Limeade)
This version of agua fresca is made from cucumbers and mint. There's a touch of sweetener in there, too, if you like. "A refreshing and healthy drink," says Jennifer Aleman. "Perfect to cool down during hot summer days. You can drink it any time of the day."
Chef John's "Sunset" Michelada
Chef John says it best: "This spicy, savory, tangy, amazingly refreshing beer-based cocktail is considered one of the best hot-weather, adult beverages ever. I've heard it described as 'Bloody Mary meets Mimosa,' which makes me never want to go to brunch again, but it's also kind of accurate. You can use tomato juice or make your own using fresh cherry tomatoes."
This popular Mexican beverage is made with rice blended with water, then strained after steeping. After the solids are removed, the rice water gets mixed with milk (you can use dairy or plant-based milk) vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar. Some reviewers like to let a cinnamon stick soak with the rice and water for several hours instead of using ground cinnamon.
Grilled Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail
Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca
The ingredients for this quick and easy refresher are right in the title. There's a touch of sugar in there as well, if you think you need it. It's fair to say that the riper and sweeter your watermelon, the more flavorful the drink and the less sugar you'll have to add. Here's how to pick out a ripe watermelon.
Layered Margarita Jell-O® Shots
You didn't think I'd forget Cinco de Jell-O shots, did you? These beauties have green and orange layers of tequila-laced gelatin to put the fun in the fiesta. These will take some time to make because the layers have to cool and set up before the next layer goes on, so make them the day before the party. Also, be sure the layer you're adding has cooled to room temperature so it doesn't melt the chilled layer. Make sense?
Tamarind Agua Fresca
Yet another version of agua fresca, this time with orange, lime, and tamarind concentrate. Recipe submitter SB says, "The tamarind has a sweet and sour kind of taste to it. You can find tamarind concentrate in most Mexican or Asian markets."
Allrecipes has so many margarita recipes that I can't list them all here, but I had to include this 5-star recipe for margaritas that use beer in the mix and don't have to go into the blender. And if you're looking for a good candidate for a Cinco de Mayo pitcher drink, give this a try. LVD says, "Absolutely love this recipe — you can't taste the beer and everyone's surprised if you tell them it's in there."
Heavenly Honeydew Juice
This gorgeous green glassful is made with ripe honeydew melon, water, sugar, and ice. That's it. "Refreshing, refreshing, refreshing!!!" raves Jennifer Aleman." It is delicious and because the honeydew is naturally sweet I didn't have to add more sugar than the recommended."
Sangrita Fresca (Mexican Sangrita)
While this colorful concoction doesn't contain a drop of alcohol, it is traditionally served with a shot of tequila on the side. What's in it? Fresh lime juice, orange juice, optional pomegranate juice, hot sauce, and a thin slice of onion. You really could serve this all on its own to anyone who wants all the flavor and none of the tequila.