Get in the festive spirit with these delicious drinks that will fuel your fiesta.

By Betty Gold
Updated May 01, 2020
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We love a taco or seven come Cinco de Mayo, but let's be honest: the key to celebrating this holiday is having a delicious drink in hand. And if you're partial to the tropical, refreshing flavors of tequila and rum, you're in luck. Don't be tempted by overly sweet bottled or powdered mixers: the key to making drinks at home is to use fresh ingredients (think fruit juice, herbs, spices, and citrus) instead.

Here, we've rounded up six top-notch Cinco de Mayo cocktails—from a classic Frozen Watermelon Margarita and Spicy Paloma made with mezcal to a tea-based boozy Hibiscus Punch and more—that you can shake, stir, or blend at home to toast the occasion. Once you've nailed your drink, we recommend making a large portion of this delicious homemade guacamole and cheesy chicken nachos to pair with.

Frozen Watermelon Margarita
Credit: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Frozen Watermelon Margarita

Puree 1 cup frozen watermelon, 1 ounce triple sec, 2 ounces blanco tequila, and ½ ounce lime juice in a blender until smooth. Pour into a margarita glass and garnish with a wedge of lime. Makes 1 drink.

Jalapeno, Cilantro and Lime Margarita
Credit: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Jalapeno, Cilantro and Lime Margarita

Muddle 3 sprigs of cilantro and 2 small slices of jalapeño in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Add 1½ ounces blanco tequila, ¾ ounce triple sec, ½ ounce lime juice, and 1 teaspoon simple syrup. Shake well and pour into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with lime and another sprig of cilantro. Makes 1 drink.

Smoky Paloma
Credit: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Smoky Paloma

Combine 1½ ounces blanco tequila, ½ ounce mezcal, ¾ ounce freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, 1½ ounces grapefruit soda, and ¾ ounces lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Makes 1 drink.

Spicy Sangrita
Credit: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Spicy Sangrita

Combine 1 ounce freshly-squeezed orange juice, 1 ounce tomato juice, ¾ ounce lime juice, ½ ounce grenadine, and 3 dashes of hot sauce in a glass filled with ice. Stir until cold, then strain into a small glass. Sip alongside a shot of tequila. Makes 1 drink.

Hibiscus Punch
Credit: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Hibiscus Punch

Combine 8 ounces chilled hibiscus tea (such as Tazo Passion), 1½ ounces dark rum, ¾ ounce simple syrup, ½ ounce lime juice, and 2 dashes cinnamon bitters in a tall glass filled with ice. Stir. Garnish with slice of lime. Makes 1 drink.

Pineapple Coconut Ginger Cooler
Credit: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Pineapple Coconut Ginger Cooler

Pulse 2 ounces pineapple juice, 2 ounces cream of coconut, 1 ounce dark rum, 1 ounce ginger liqueur, ½ ounce lime juice, and ½ cup crushed ice in a blender until combined. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a slice of pineapple. Makes 1 drink. ‪