The fifth of May celebrates Mexican heritage, independence and democracy. Our friend, Anya, asked us to provide some TWINSPIRATION for her Cinco de Mayo dinner party for 12. We are excited to share our fabulous fiesta with you.
Cinco de Mayo honors Mexico’s victory over France during the Franco-Mexican War. The holiday celebrates Mexico maintaining its Independence and Democracy, which is not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (this falls on September 16). While it is a minor holiday in Mexico, it is a big celebration in the US.
We incorporated a bright, bold color palette of red, yellow, green, orange, blue and white into our decor. We used a red tablecloth and a mix of blue and red paper plates. We placed a beautiful bouquet of ruby red roses, yellow ranunculus, red-orange tulips, green ball flowers and solidago in a large mason jar. For formal dinner parties, we recommend assigned seating. Kanchana created custom Cinco de Mayo place cards.
Anya also scattered Mexican figurines as decorative accents. We sipped on Passion Fruit Margaritas, while waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive.
Anya, grew up in Mexico City, Mexico. She wanted to provide her guests with an authentic Mexican dining experience. Anya composed a fabulous menu with several signature dishes and paired each course with a cocktail.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEZCAL AND TEQUILA?
Mezcal is a Mexican liquor that is produced from a variety of up to 30 different types of agave plants. Mezcal has a distinct flavor profile that differs from Tequila. Generally, Mezcal is sweeter and stronger than Tequila and has a smoky flavor.
Tequila is a Mexican liquor that is produced from the Blue Agave plant. Tequila is manufactured in five regions of Mexico: Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Michoacán, and Guanajuato. There is even a town in Jalisco called Tequila. There are 5 varieties of tequila:
Blanco: generally unaged, clear, pure blue agave
Gold: colorants and flavorings added, less expensive, used in mixed drinks
Reposado: aged in wood barrels for 2-11 months, golden hue, balanced flavor of agave and wood
Anejo: aged between 1-3 years, amber color, richer, smoother and more complex flavor
Extra Anejo: aged over 3 years, mahogany color, extremely smooth and complex
Our delicious meal began with lime chips and guacamole. Anya paired this course with a Passion Fruit Margarita with Tequila. The second course was Esquites paired with a Tamarind Margarita with Mezcal. Esquites are the off-the-cob version of Elotes, which are grilled Mexican street corn smothered with creamy, cheesy, lime-scented, chili-flecked sauce. They are the perfect balance of smoky, sweet, spicy and tangy. The third course was Veracruz-Style Red Snapper with rice. This is classic fish dish from Veracruz, Mexico that combines ingredients and cooking methods from Spain and pre-colonial Mexico. This dish was paired with a Strawberry, Pineapple Habanero cocktail made with Hellisoy vodka, a habanero infused vodka founded by our friend, Eric.
Our meal concluded with a Mexican Meringue flag and Shortbread Cookies, courtesy of Julie James from The Meringue Bakeshop NYC. We asked Julie to make the meringues in green, white and red, the colors of the Mexican flag. Then in the middle, we printed the insignia from the Mexican flag and placed it on top of a shortbread cookie. If you like sweet meringues, definitely check out her bake shop. She is offering a 15% discount to Twinspirational Followers- just place your order with the code Twinspirational. Julie baked some additional shortbread cookies and dipped them in meringue and stamped them with the words Cinco de Mayo. Meringues and Shortbread Cookies are not Mexican but sometimes we like to add some whimsy to our menus. And remember that Cinco de Mayo is of course about the Mexicans defeating the French! If you are looking for more traditional Mexican desserts, we recommend tres leches cake, churros or flan. We paired dessert with Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate.
We also made a variety of Cinco de Mayo props, which everyone had a lot of with. Make sure to include lots of sombreros, maracas, mustaches and more. Thank you Anya for hosting a fabulous fiesta.
“Cinco de Mayo has come to represent a celebration of the contributions that Mexican Americans and all Hispanics have made to America.” ––Joe Baca