With Cinco de Mayo around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a party centered on Mexican food and drink.
A margarita bar party is one excellent way to host a Cinco de Mayo celebration without having to worry about satisfying your guests’ different drink preferences or having to prepare a lot of food. A margarita bar, like the one detailed below, will encompass all sorts of tastes, and encourage fun for all guests. A margarita bar puts the fun back in potlucks, because guests can play bartender and make all sorts of fun creations in their margarita glasses. The following article from Holidays Central offers great advice on how to create a margarita bar that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Set up a Cinco de Mayo Margarita Bar
Margaritas are pretty much an essential component of a Cinco de Mayo party, but these days it seems there are so many different margarita recipes, it’s hard to choose which to serve! After all, there are purists out there, and then there are people who like to get a little more funky with their flavors. A make-your-own (MYO) margarita bar provides the perfect solution! A MYO margarita bar not only provides your guests with the options they want, it also provides an interactive element to your party and can serve as a fun conversation piece. Set up the margarita bar with tequila, salt and tequila mixes. You can also set out recipe cards with your favorite margarita recipes on them for guests to enjoy. Whether your friends are purists, or not so pure, here are some ideas to give them a well-rounded margarita bar.
Tequila and Liquors
Also set out liqueurs to add a bit of sweetness. Our favorite options are either Cointreau or Grand Marnier. For a sweeter margarita or if you’re on a budget, triple sec or similar citrus liqueurs will do.
*To add a hint of flavor to your margies, try a different liqueur such as elderberry or pear.
Set out a variety of different salts and seasonings so that guests can flavor their rims. You may want to provide salty, sweet and spicy rim options. Use a spice grinder if you have one to grind up different flavors to mix with the salt for the rim such as:
- dried jalapenos
- Old Bay seasoning
- dried ginger
- dried hibiscus flowers
- candied ginger
- freeze-dried strawberries or other freeze-dried fruit (freeze-dried easily crushes into a powder)
*There are plenty of store-bought flavored salts if you want to go the no-fuss route
You can provide a classic sour mix, however it is not too hard to make your own and well worth the small effort. Basically, just mix together in a pitcher:
Homemade sour mix
—This is approximate and can be tweaked to your own liking. Use fresh squeezed juice for best flavor.
- 30% lemon juice
- 25% lime juice
- 10% simple syrup (50/50 hot water and sugar, mix until sugar is dissolved)
- 10% orange juice
- 25% water
If you have the means to make different berry purees (in blender or juicer), then these will make delicious additions to a classic margarita: raspberry, strawberry, acai or blueberry.
Juice may also be used such as: pomegranate, pear, mango or orange.
Put the juice and/or purees in convenient squeeze bottles or small pitchers.
Also provide plenty of seltzer water for guests to make skinny margaritas
Set a few pint glasses out at the beginning of your bar for guests to mix all their ingredients in. Then set out: ice bucket, tequila, liqueur, sour mix, purees and juices, and a cocktail shaker. The guests can then shake their own cocktail.
Next, have your margarita glasses lined up with rimming dishes, rimming ingredients and limes. Guests can then rim their margarita glass and pour in their delicious concoction.
A fun adult game to play in preparation for your margarita bar is an adult piñata. Instead of using candy to fill a piñata, use little bottles of flavored tequila and flavored liqueur. At stores like Bevmo, they have all sorts of little bottles like this for relatively cheap. Of course only use ones that are in plastic. After breaking the piñata, guests can use the little bottles they collect to flavor their margaritas in flavors they may not have thought of or tried before.
If you are looking to create a budget-friendly margarita bar, consider asking friends to bring the tequila while you provide the mixers, or vice versa. You could also invite each of your guests to bring a different type of tequila, and conduct a tequila tasting. Whatever way you choose to build your margarita bar, asking guests to pitch in is always a good way to maintain a low budget for the party.
Another great way to save on party expenses is to stop by your local dollar store. Dollar stores often carry a variety of drink glasses, so you can purchase a margarita glass for each guest to take home, and it will only cost you $1 per person! Consider hand-painting each margarita glass with the guests’ names for a more festive twist. Dollar stores also carry a lot of fun decorations that could add to the Cinco de Mayo theme.
A margarita bar is a great way to engage your party guests. Since an adequate amount of tequila is typically consumed at a margarita bar party, it is a good idea to set out a bowl to hold drivers’ keys until they are sober enough to drive. It is always important to ensure the safety of your guests and those on the road.
To make your margarita bar party even more fun and festive, consider serving some traditional Mexican food to go with the drinks. Tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole will pair well with the salt in the margaritas. Or, if you are interested in going full-out, consider having your margarita bar party catered by an authentic Mexican Restaurant. Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant sometimes offers catering upon request, so please contact us to learn more about ordering fresh, authentic Mexican food for your next margarita bar party.
Will you be trying out this margarita bar party idea for your next Cinco de Mayo gathering, or do you prefer to eat at a local restaurant on this holiday?