4 Delicious Mexican Cocktails To Drink This Cinco De Mayo Instead Of Margaritas

Cinco de Mayo is rapidly approaching, and this year it’s on a Friday. This means you have extra reason to celebrate—and what better way to do that than with cocktails? But before you run to get the blender and margarita mix, wait. Here are four Mexican cocktails you should try instead.

Oh, and a little note before we raise our glasses: Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day (that’s September 16). Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. It’s actually not even a huge holiday in Mexico, but here in the States it has become a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Anyway, back to the booze.

1. Paloma

This is my favorite drink in the world. Combining grapefruit juice or soda, lime and tequila, this is basically the most refreshing cocktail ever invented. I personally like to make mine with just plain grapefruit juice, and no soda, but you do you. Make it like this.

grapefruit juice photo
Flickr | L.A. Foodie

2. Michelada

Another solid classic, these are best served at brunch (in my humble opinion). It’s basically a Bloody Mary, but with the added bonus of beer and Clamato juice. Make it with dark Negro Modelo and lots of fresh lime juice and you’ll be in heaven. Recipe here.

michelada cocktail photo
Flickr | Robb1e

3. Spiked Horchata

Horchata is that creamy, sweet, cinnamon-y drink made from rice milk that’s way too easy to chug. And it’s only improved by the addition of dark rum and a little Spanish sherry. Watch out—this drink kicks like a mule. It just tastes too good! Get the full recipe here.

horchata photo
Flickr | bonus1up

4. Mezcalita

This basically sounds like a margarita, but it uses mezcal instead of the traditional tequila. While tequila is technically a form of mezcal, it can only be produced in certain Mexican states to be technically considered tequila (like how Parma ham is only legit if it’s made in Parma, Italy). Mezcal has a smoky flavor that adds a serious bite to this drink. I personally think it’s even better than the OG margarita. To make one, simply replace the tequila in your favorite margarita recipe with an equal amount of mezcal.

margarita photo
Flickr | ted_major