Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Carl Craft

DENVER, CO - MAY 04: Handcrafted items await sale at a vendor's booth at a Cinco de Mayo festival celebrating Mexican culture on May 4, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Hundreds of thousands of people were expected to attend the two day event, billed as the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States. Cinco de Mayo observes the victory of the Mexican army over French forces on May 5, 1862 in the town of Puebla, Mexico. The festival celebrates Mexican culture and is one of the most popular annual Latino events in the United States. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

If you find yourself unexpectedly hosting people tonight, here are tips on how to pull off a great last-minute Cinco de Mayo party!

And remember, Cinco De Mayo is not a celebration of Mexico’s independence.  Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of Mexico’s defeat of the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  (Is there a nation that France has not lost to?!?!)

Here’s a fun fact:  “Mexico” is not the official name of the nation.  The official name of it is, “The United States of Mexico”.  See?  You learned something today.

  • Decorate

    Mexico Celebrates 200 Years Of Independence

    MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – SEPTEMBER 27: Trigarante Army flag is seen replacing the Mexican flag at Zocalo square during celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence at Zocalo on September 27, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico. On this day Mexicans remember the consummation of their independence representing the triumphant entrance of the Trigarante Army to Mexico City 200 years ago. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

    Decorate with things you already have around the house.  You can’t go wrong with the traditional colors of the Mexican flag . . . green, white, and red.  And instead of flowers, put little cacti on the table.  Those little cacti are available in any grocery store… And then, after the party you have a little cacti to remember your hangover by.  Fun!

    One thing to note on decorations:  It used to be funny to dress someone up as a “Dirty Sanchez” or a Mexican outlaw, but those stereotypes are pretty outdated, lame and most Mexicans find them offensive.

  • Make a signature cocktail

    Casa Herradura Visits Atlanta

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 21: Tequila Herradura Horseshoe Margarita at Casa Herradura on March 21, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tequila Herradura)

    Cinco de Mayo is all about the margarita.  Sure, cervezas are good too… but it’s really about the margarita.

    You need tequila, lime, triple sec.  And my secret ingredient is a tiny bit of tonic water and a splash of Cointreau (you can skip the triple sec if you want).  Trust me on this.  Ice, def.  Salt?  I dunno about that.  I think the salted rim is the work of the devil, myself.

    You should have water and soda on hand too, but having a really good margarita recipe ready to go will take your party to the next level.

  • Quick food choices

    The New Yorker Festival 2016 - Flavors of Mexico Presented by Mexico Tourism

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 08: A view of guacamole during Flavors of Mexico Presented by Mexico Tourism during The New Yorker Festival 2016 at Casa Neta on October 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

    For a last minute thing you don’t have to go crazy.  Hit up a the frozen food section of your favorite grocery store, you’re bound to find some simple treat you can heat up.  Frontera even has some decently healthy choices.

    You can’t go wrong with a simple guacamole and chip combination either.  That’s simple and easy if you can find ripe avocados.  My guess:  that same grocery store was planning for you and will have a salsa and guac combination in their pre-made area too!

  • Tunes

    2017 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival - Day 3

    INDIO, CA – APRIL 30: Musician Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos performs on the Palomino Stage during day 3 of 2017 Stagecoach California’s Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)

    Normally, I’d just crank up my playlist for a gathering at my place but this Cinco party is different.  We require a solid representation of Mexico or at least Tex-Mex.  So try on a few of these:

    Los Lobos

    The Mavericks

    Dick Dale is a guitar genius from the Cali surf scene that will work well with this vibe

    And throw some Carlos Santana like his greatest hits or that Milagro record… that’s the good stuff right there.

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