Cinco de Mayo is celebrates the surprising victory of the Mexican forces in a The Battle of Puebla over the occupying French forces in 1862. It is not, as is commonly thought, Mexican independence day. Instead, the 5th of May is seen now as a day to celebrate Mexican heritage. This holiday is more popular in the United States and in the province of Puebla than it is in the rest of Mexico.
Once you’ve set up your festive decorations, like piñatas and lights, it’s time to focus on the food and drinks. Celebrate the history of the day with traditional dishes from Puebla, like chicken in chocolate mole sauce served with camote (sweet potatoes with honey, butter and cinnamon). Let guests snack on tortilla chips served with salsa and guacamole. Nachos, invented on the Texas border, are a great way to celebrate the blending of Mexican and American styles. Grill up carne asada or roast pork for carnitas. Then let guests assemble their own tacos. Bake a large tray of enchiladas in red or green sauce.
For dessert, try decorating a sheet cake or a batch of cupcakes in the white, green and red of the Mexican flag. Use icing, sprinkles or candies for extra flair. Of their many contributions to world culture, perhaps chocolate is Mexico’s greatest accomplishment. Serve plenty of it, especially hot chocolate spiced with cinnamon and chili powder. Or whip up some tres leches cake, which is cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream.
Your drinks can include any number of Mexican beers or tequila drinks. Make margaritas with fresh lime juice, tequila and triple sec served in glasses with salted rims. Get out the blender and add fresh strawberries, mangoes or peaches into the mix. Serve Corona, Pacifico, Tecate or Negro Modelo with slices of fresh lime. Get some rice, cinnamon and sugar to make your own horchata.