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Throw an Arriba-Worthy Modern Fiesta

Now that we’re halfway through April and officially into spring, we can’t help but have fiesta on the brain. Maybe it’s the fact that we have a new guacamole bar complete with toasted pepitas, fresh pomegranate seeds, fresh sliced jalapenos and chorizo crumbles, or maybe we just have a serious hankering for salty chips and spicy margaritas that we can’t deny. Nevertheless, this is the perfect time to dust off that margarita pitcher and enjoy the warm weather by throwing a fun and zestful fiesta. With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Thursday this year, a colorful fiesta is the perfect way to end the workweek or commence the weekend with friends. While The Big Apple boasts a bevy of Cinco de Mayo-themed events throughout the city on May 5th, including the Cinco de Mayo Street Fair outside of Grand Central Terminal, escape the madness of the streets and indulge in arriba-approved festivities in the comfort of your apartment or home this year.


When it comes to party planning, throwing a Cinco de Mayo fiesta is almost as fun as the party itself. With bright colors, festive décor, and flavorful Mexican fare, our events division will help throw the perfect modern fiesta.

To start, there’s nothing better these days than receiving real mail from an actual mailbox (gasp!). We found these adorably bright and colorful (and most importantly, customizable) invites for only $20. For those who insist on going fully digital, they are also available to e-mail to your guests. As an added bonus you can also print out as many as you’d like if your guest list happens to grow.

For your décor, we love incorporating looks that will last and look beautiful well after the fiestas over. Our events coordinator found this festive yet chic look from florist Heavenly Blooms. Simply display potted cacti or succulents in clear cylinders or hurriunaces of all heights and fill the bottom with dried pinto beans. The outcome is a surprisingly chic and fresh display that both you and your guests will love. For decorations that are slightly more traditional to a classic fiesta, hang colorful papel picado garland (Mexican tissue paper banners) like these hand-made banners from Etsy on the ceiling or on the walls. We also found this gorgeous black and pink tablecloth, which is perfect for either your dessert or beverage area.

When it comes to your Mexican menu, the sky’s the limit with fun and zesty seasonings and spices. To start, we think that taquitos are the perfect party food for any occasion, but are especially on point for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta.  Play off of your fiesta’s vibrant and colorful celebration surprise your guests with a bold and flavorful salsa bar. Not only does a salsa bar add the perfect kick to your party, but you can also experiment with fun and seasonal flavor pairings for you and your guests. Here are a few of our current favorites for you to try:


Mango Pineapple Salsa:
2 Mangos
¼ cup crushed Dole Pineapple
½ cup chopped Red Bell Pepper
3 tbsp. Chopped Red Onion
1 Finley cut and seeded Jalapeno
½ tbsp. chopped Cilantro
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced
¼ tsp Salt
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed Lime Juice

Chipotle Corn Salsa
1 can of corn, drained or 3 ears of corn, boiled & cut
¼ c cilantro, chopped
¼ c red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded & diced
½ poblano, seeded & diced
¼ lemon, juiced
½ lime, juiced

Spicy Salsa Verde
7 tomatillos, husk removed
1 + 1/2 whole jalapenos, stem removed
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 a medium red onion
1-2 TBSP fresh cilantro
Olive oil and vinegar, to taste
Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste

For your chips, keep it authentic and place a large handful of salty tortilla chips into basic brown bags for your guests to enjoy.

On the drinks table, mix things up with both a classic fiesta staple, among other fun beverages. One of our favorite seasonal libations is a classic spicy margarita. The refreshing cucumber and biting jalapeno is a thirst-quenching and fiesta-approved drink that’s also a fan favorite for the spring and summer months. For your guests who prefer tequila straight from the glass, we found these jazzy  Himalayan salt tequila shot glasses, which also make for a great hostess or birthday gift. We also recommend serving Mexican beer, such as Corona or Pacifico, and a refreshing nonalcoholic beverage such as peach limeade, served in a glass beverage dispenser.

Spicy Fiesta Margarita

Spicy Fiesta Margarita

Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup white tequila
1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1/4 cup simple syrup, or more as needed
4 thin slices cucumber
1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise
Ice, for serving
Salt for glass rims, optional

Fresh Fiesta Peach Limeade
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 8 limes)
2¾ cups water
2 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered

Finally, for the dessert table, margarita cupcakes will be an instant and delicious hit with your guests. While margaritas are the perfect Mexican cocktail, the flavor successfully transcends to a yummy dessert option as well. Plus, as an added bonus, this recipe involves a splash of tequila to stay true to it’s name.

Margarita Cupcakes:
For the Cupcakes:
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk


Homemade Margarita Cupcakes

Homemade Margarita Cupcakes

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 ¾ powdered dugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

From salsa to sweet treats, a modern and chic fiesta is the perfect excuse to celebrate the 5th of May if you’re looking for one. Because let’s face it, any excuse to nosh on tequila-infused cupcakes gets a big OK from us! You can also use our ideas for a fun weekend get-together or for everyone’s favorite day of the week, Taco (and Tequila) Tuesday! Cheers! Woops--Ole!




Check back to the blog next week when Deborah and the events division talks about the 5 things you need to know when planning your next event, and what mistakes to avoid 





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