Spiked Horchata recipe
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If you’re coming to this Cinco de Mayo cocktail menu expecting a margarita, well, here are 11 margarita recipes to slake your thirst. But if you’re looking for something less expected, these Mexican drink recipes are all delicious contenders for your new favorite Cinco sip—or spring and summer cocktail, at that.

What You're Washing DownA Mix-and-Match Mexican Menu for Cinco de MayoAs you may have read 50 times by now this month, 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. (While you’re at it, give mezcal some love too—and other Mexican alcohol options like tepache.)

Related Reading: The Best Places to Order Alcohol Online

No matter what you decide to drink, pull out the chips and salsa, whip up some perfect guacamole, and pour plenty of water—then join your friends on Zoom for a virtual hang (but beware: somebody’s still going to try to make everyone do shots).

1. Spiked Pineapple Agua Fresca

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. Use any fruit you like, but pineapple is pretty perfect. Get our Spiked Pineapple Agua Fresca recipe.

Related Reading: The Best Reusable Straws

2. Basil Mezcal Sour

Basil Mezcal Sour recipe

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Tequila is great, but mezcal also deserves your attention. Try it in a basil-infused sour with a sprinkle of celery seed to finish. Get our Basil Mezcal Sour recipe.

3. The Eva

Fizzy Apple Soda cocktail recipe

Chowhound

Eve was on to something when she bit into that apple—it turns out the fruit makes a pretty delicious soda (we used Sidral Mundet, a common brand at Mexican grocery stores). Combine that with a bit of brandy and lemon juice, and you’ve got yourself a sinful little cocktail. Get our Eva Cocktail recipe.

4. Mexican 75

Mexican 75 (French 75 with tequila) recipe

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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.

5. Paloma

Paloma cocktail recipe

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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.

6. Red Chile–Guava Margarita

Spicy Guava Margarita recipe

Chowhound

OK, so this actually is a margarita—but different enough that it still deserves to be considered as an alternative. 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 (or cheat and buy a jalapeño tequila). Get our Red Chile–Guava Margarita recipe.

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7. Luchador

spicy Mexican beer cocktail recipe

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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 Beer Cocktail recipe.

8. Tamarindo Borracho

Tamarind Tequila Cocktail recipe

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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.

9. Squirrel Horchata

Spiked Horchata recipe

Chowhound

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.

10. Tequila Sunrise

tequila sunrise recipe

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This is what you call an oldie but a goodie—and it’s lovely with its layered shades of orange and crimson. Make homemade grenadine or seek out a high-quality brand. Get our Tequila Sunrise recipe.

11. Copa Verde

Copa Verde avocado cocktail

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Avocados are for so much more than guacamole—even cocktails, as these naturally creamy tequila and avocado drinks prove. Agave syrup, fresh lime juice, and thyme also feature. Get our Copa Verde Avocado Cocktail recipe.

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