Cinco de Mayo inspiration, brought to you by Olmeca Altos Tequila

On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo has since been celebrated to commemorate the unlikely victory.

Here in the United States, some use Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to drink, eat, and be merry, while others think its Mexico’s Independence Day – the most important national holiday in Mexico.

Like how you won’t find green beer and corned beef in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, nor will you find ground beef tacos and nachos in Mexico on Cinco de Mayo. I feel as a Nation, we can honor our neighbors to the south with a less cliche approach, and start being a bit more authentic.

What You’ll Need for an Authentic Cinco de Mayo

I’m going to do my best to educate you on the dos and don’ts for Cinco de Mayo so you can celebrate it as genuine as possible. I am by no means an expert, and will admit that trying to stray away from the non-traditional deliciousness of cheesy nachos is a bit rough. But don’t worry, the following suggestions that will replace your normal food and beverages on Cinco de Mayo are equally, if not more delicious!

Tequila and Other Beverages

Yes, tequila is, and will always be, a spirit authentic to Cinco de Mayo and Mexican culture. Thankfully for you, I not only have a great recommendation for tequila, but a killer take on a margarita recipe as well (bottom of post).

Olmeca Altos Plata and Reposado Tequila

Altos Plata – Think fruity, a tad citric and deliciously sweet aromas of cooked agave. A well-balanced tequila with a long-lasting aftertaste. The Plata is bottled immediately after distillation, with no time left to age.

Altos Reposado – Sweet, fruity and citric aromas; integrated with vanilla, cooked agave and woody notes. Unlike Plata, Reposado gets aged for 6-8 months in 200-liter white American oak ex-Bourbon casks.

Paloma – In Mexico, if you ask for a tequila cocktail, chances are they’re going to say “uno paloma.” Typically a Paloma cocktail is a shot of tequila with three shots of Squirt, a grape fruit soda, or a Jarritos Toronja. I recommend checking out Altos’ Paloma recipe if you want a fresh take on the popular Cinco de Mayo cocktail.


Horchata – Sometimes referred to as orxata, Horchata is the name of traditional Mexican beverages, made of ground almonds, barley, rice, sesame seeds, or tigernuts.


There are so many great foods to try on Cinco de Mayo that aren’t the cliche taco and nacho plate. Here are a few you must-try:

Chalupas Poblanas
Chalupas Poblanas (Photo via: C21 Puebla)

Chalupas – An iconic Poblano street food that resembles a tostada. Chalupas are fried thick tortillas with shredded meat, chopped onion, and topped with salsa. Occasionally you’ll find some Chalupas with queso fresco, which is never a bad choice.

Chiles en Nogada
Chiles en Nogada (Photo via:

Chiles en Nogada – This delicious dish features a sweet and savory picadillo stuffed poblano pepper that is dipped in egg batter, fried, and topped with pomegranate seeds, parsley, and a rich walnut sauce. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it.

Cinco de Mayo Decorations

The best way to decorate for Cinco de Mayo is to incorporate as much color as possible. Here are some decorating suggestions:

Colorful Mexican Dishes
Colorful Mexican Dishes (Photo via: Life With the Mozas)

Colorful Dishes – Bring out your most colorful and decorative dishes for serving foods. You also can set them around the table before the meal is ready to act as a decoration. If you don’t have colored dishes and don’t want to spend money on them, purchase several colors of disposable plates. Set them around the table, mixing and matching the colors. This will give a pop of color to your dining room.

Colorful Mexican Paper Flowers

Paper Flowers – Commonly used for the Mexican Day of the Dead, Paper flowers are also a great colorful decoration for Cinco de Mayo. They’re made using tissue paper and green pipe cleaners. Place them in a vase on the table, along with your colorful dishware.

Altos Tequila – Tommy’s Margarita Recipe:

Altos Tequila - Tommy's Margarita Recipe

For this Cinco de Mayo, toss out the sugary margarita mix and use fresh ingredients instead. Try making the Tommy’s Margarita recipe from Altos Tequila. Your guests will love it!


  • 2 parts Altos Plata
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Agave Nectar
  • Lime Wheel


If your guests likes salt, wet the rim of the glass and coat it with salt. Combine all the ingredients over ice and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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(Featured Image via: Cinco de Mayo Tortillas)