8 Cocktails Beyond the Margarita for Cinco de Mayo

If you’re coming to this Cinco de Mayo cocktail menu expecting a margarita, here it is, the Perfect Margarita. And if perfect to you means blended, here’s that too. If you’ve decided to read further, we’ve thrown in some variety. Cinco de Mayo isn’t celebrated very widely in Mexico (it’s often erroneously thought of as Mexican Independence Day, which is actually September 16), but it’s so popular in the States that many people consider it the kickoff of summer—no matter that there’s still frost in some parts of the country. Since there are no real rules, serve up what you like. Here’s an assortment of Mexican-influenced, but by no means traditional, cocktails that use beer, tequila, and rum. So pull out the chips, some salsa, and plenty of water, and party—it’s almost summer!

1. Spiked Pineapple Agua Fresca

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We replaced the water in a traditional aqua fresca with rum, creating a cocktail that throws you into vacation mode with just one sip. Get our Spiked Pineapple Agua Fresca recipe.

2. The Eva

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Eve was on to something when she bit into that apple—it turns out the fruit makes a pretty delicious soda. Combine that with a bit of brandy and lemon juice, and you’ve got yourself a sinful little cocktail. Get our The Eva recipe.

3. Mexican 75

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The classic French 75 takes on Mexican personality by substituting tequila for the traditional gin. It’s delicious, and far less fussy than the original. Get our Mexican 75 recipe.

4. Paloma

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The Paloma is like a margarita with bubbles. Any 100 percent agave reposado tequila will work here, and a grapefruit soda like Squirt is perfect. Get our Paloma recipe.

5. Red Chile–Guava Margarita

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The “red chile” in this drink’s name comes from homemade Chile-Infused Tequila. Be sure you make it a couple of days in advance to get that spicy kick this cocktail deserves. Get our Red Chile–Guava Margarita recipe.

6. Luchador

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This spicy beer cocktail—spiked with Clamato—might not turn you into an actual luchador (Mexican wrestlers), but it’ll give you something delicious to sip while watching real ones on TV. Get our Luchador recipe.

7. Tamarindo Borracho

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A shot of good tequila needs usually nothing more than a lime wedge and some salt to enhance it. When you crave an extra kick, try adding a little spicy syrup. Get our Tamarindo Borracho recipe.

8. Squirrel Horchata

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Horchata’s nutty, citrusy base is a perfect vehicle for a Squirrel Sour cocktail: a base spirit, lemon or lime juice, and a nut-flavored liqueur—in this case, hazelnut-flavored Frangelico. Get our Squirrel Horchata recipe.