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Step Out of the Box for Cinco de Mayo & Celebrate With These 5 Margarita Alternatives

Cinco de Mayo is this Friday, May 5. While basic margaritas and traditional Mexican beers are a simple, tried and true staple for pairing with Mexican cuisine, this year we encourage you to step outside of the box and try out some of these fresh and trending Mexican-inspired cocktails.

These simple and delicious cocktails and drinks are easy to make at home. Whether you’re celebrating with a small group of friends or hosting an all-day party, we’ve got you covered with these five best margarita alternatives that are sure to impress.

1. Champagne Margaritas

The champagne margarita is a refreshing way to get the sweetness of your typical margarita, but with a sparkling and refreshing base instead of traditional tequila. While tequila is one of the best spirits for delicious and creative cocktails, not everyone enjoys the liquor’s unique flavor or well, its unique side effects. Champagne is a great alternative to traditional tequila because it offers a lighter (and less alcoholic version) of the drink for those who want to celebrate with a lighter drink. Of course, if you want to keep the bubbly and tequila, both spirits can be used for this cocktail. The rest is simple: simply combine champagne, lime juice and orange liqueur with ice and shake. Add salt to the rim of the glass and garnish with a lime for lovely presentation.

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2. Spiked Horchata

This tasty cocktail is also simple, requiring only three ingredients — rum, sherry and horchata. The sweet, milky beverage combined with your choice of liquor will be a hit among those who enjoy the creamy White Russian cocktails. To make this drink at home, simply fill your glass with crushed ice and add ingredients into a shaker. Last, strain over chopped ice and serve with a cinnamon stick on top for a spicy-sweet garnish. Horchata can be found at most Mexican grocers.

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3. Mexican “Coffee”

This caffeinated cocktail will give you a kick to keep the festivities going all Cinco de Mayo long, while making a sweet after-dinner dessert cocktail, similar in format to Italy’s caffe affogato. To craft this cocktail you’ll need: sugar, tequila, coffee, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, coffee liqueur and cherries. To start, add the liqueur and tequila in the cup at the same time. Next, slowly add the hot coffee to the mix, and finally add the ice cream. Garnish with sugar, cinnamon and cherries as desired.

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4. Beer Sangria

While traditional sangria dates back to 200 B.C. Spain, the fruity wine beverage’s easy-to-drink taste caught on abroad, with many cultures adopting the drink with their own alterations. Mexican sangria uses the same red wine and fruit base as the original Spanish version, but packs on the punch in terms of alcohol content thanks to the addition of brandy. Mexican sangria’s greater alcohol content makes an ideal match when paired with spicy cuisine or traditional Mexican meats dishes like carne asada. If you prefer to keep your sangria with a lower ABV and sugar content, try the classic drink’s latest update, beer sangria, or “brew’gria,” for short. This easy-to-make cocktail switches out the wine and liquor for light and refreshing beer, making it ideal as a refreshing summer beverage. To a make your own beer sangria you’ll need: 1 lemon, 1 grapefruit, 3-4 bottles of Mexican beer (Pacifico, Tecate, Sol, etc.), 1 cup of vodka (optional), 1 thinly sliced orange and 1 lime. Add all of your ingredients together in a glass pitcher for a beautiful presentation, perfect for Cinco de Mayo and all of your summer festivities.

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5. Chavela

Micheladas are often the beer-based beverage of choice for pairing with Mexican meals, but this simple version offers an equally flavorful yet, simple way to achieve the same taste with less fuss. This is a version of the classic “cerveza preparada,” or prepared beer, that is a favorite in Mexico. Unlike Americans, Mexicans “dress” their beer, adding special additions like hot sauce and lime to give it an upgraded flavor, without adding sugar and syrups. All you’ll need to make a Chavela is: one Mexican beer (bottled), 6 dashes of Mexican hot sauce (i.e. Tapatio, Valentina, etc.), kosher salt and tomato juice. Tequila is always an optional addition, if you’re so inclined.

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