Your Guide to Hosting a Chic Cinco de Mayo Party

Skip the oversized margarita glasses on May 5th in favor of some truly memorable Mexican recipes and decorations.

Cinco de Mayo is upon us, and that means one thing: an excuse to overdo it on the margaritas. What that doesn't mean is that you're permitted to slack off as a host. This year, throw an unforgettable Cinco de Mayo fiesta that'll have your friends Instagramming up a storm. We've curated five enticing Mexican recipes and five adorable décor ideas to take the planning out of your party and put some spice in your life._header2
churro bites An authentic Mexican treat, the churro is now being reinvented in bite form and drizzled with warm chocolate sauce. Once you pop, you just can't stop!
mushroom molotes These corndough molotes are savory, mouthwatering snacks filled with sauteed mushrooms, roasted green chiles, and Oaxaca cheese. Wrap these mouthwatering hand pies in parchment paper for easy grabbing.
tres leches cake with coconut chantilly frosting A light airy cake soaked in a mixture of heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake is a staple in Mexico. This adaptation, made with oconut chantilly frosting, has a bit more flavor depth -- and it's to die for.
watermelon fruit skewers Watermelon with crumbled cotija cheese and maldon salt becomes a refreshing appetizer with a perfect sweet-meets-savory balance. These skewers, dressed up with colorful beads, are as festive as they are delicious.
spicy grapefruit margarita Making margaritas is a cinch, so step up your game with this spicy grapefruit margarita. Made with cayenne simple syrup, grapefruit, and a salt or spice rub, it's not your average marg -- and it'll have your friends talking for weeks.
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papel picado banners The go-to décor for every festive occasion in Mexico, these elaborately cut banners are the easiest way to infuse some vibrant Cinco de Mayo spirit into your atmosphere. You can order some from Casa Bonampak or try your hand at DIY-ing your own. We love the idea of tying a few little ribbons onto your garland for extra flair.
mini pinata place cards Set your table with adorable miniature piñatas, and you're guaranteed to make your guests smile. We'd love to use these little guys as place card holders for each setting. Cuter than cute!
serape tablecloths Brightly colored striped serapes, or Mexican blankets, make the perfect tablecloths for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. We used them for Gabrielle Union's Mexican-themed Valentine's Day party, mixing serapes with other stripes for added dimension. Keep a few extras on hand to keep your guests warm when the sun goes down.
canned cactus plants Set out small potted cacti in lieu of flowers, and make the arranging a little easier on yourself. Instead of a basic terracotta pot, place yours in a bright can of salsa or enchilada sauce for a nod to the cuisine that's not only bright and cheerful, but alsoaffordable! Let guests each take one home as a memorable keepsake.
taco stall

Take a load off and let your guests do some of the heavy lifting by creating a "taco stall" in your home. You don't have to go out and built a plywood stall like the one shown here; just creating a festive taco station somewhere in your home will create an activity for your guests and add to the allure of the atmosphere.

Photographs: Koury Angelo for Domaine , Cooking Classy, Muy Bueno Cookbook, Green Wedding Shoes, Hummingbird High, Camille Styles, Martha Stewart, Wild Whim Photography via 100 Layer Cake, Koury Angelo for Domaine, Sarah Yates for Inspired by ThisHostess With the Mostess
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