Cinco De Mayo can be one of the most fun nights of the year to meet up with friends and family for a pitcher of margaritas and some great Mexican dishes. But as the world is easing back into small gatherings, perhaps this year is a good time to try to plan a virtual version of this celebration!
Now is the best time to start planning. your virtual Cinco De Mayo party! getty
Send your guests a party box prior to the celebration or send them a list of what they will need. This may include cocktail ingredients, recipe cards, or even fun party accessories.
“I would then give them all a taco challenge, so meet up at a certain time on Zoom while you sip your margaritas and present the most creative or delicious variation of a taco,” said Andrea Correale, the founder and president of Elegant Affairs Caterers.
Everyone can enjoy margaritas while they present their taco spread to the group one at a time. Best one wins and the prize is up to you!
Great music makes a party, and that’s also true for a virtual one. One way to make this work is to create a playlist that is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, and then share it, so everyone can have it playing in the background as you virtually mingle.
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As far as food, make sure you nail the basics. Options like Guacamole or Pico de Gallo are popular and easy to make at home. “Encourage guests to add their own twists by incorporating cucumber, mango, pineapple, blistered red or white onions, or a chipotle sour cream,” said Chef Charles Webb of Avanti Gourmet Catering.
If you don’t have access to traditional Mexican food products in your grocery store, Webb’s go-to’s are Fiesta Spices Fajita Seasoning and La Costena Chipotle Peppers. “You’ll use them as the foundation for a lot of Mexican-inspired dishes, so go with the good stuff!” said Webb.
But it’s your party. Make it your own in any way that feels right to your group. “In honor of Cinco de Mayo, a tribute to Mexico’s 1862 victory over France, I’m recreating the decadent tostadas served at legendary seafood restaurant Contramar in Mexico City,” said Liz Curtis, the founder of Table + Teaspoon.
The ingredients are simple: Sliced sushi-grade tuna sits atop a tostada on a bed of chipotle aioli and crispy leak, crowned by avocado. Store-bought crispy onion works in lieu of leek! “If cooking, isn’t your forte this holiday, support your local Mexican restaurants by having everyone in your virtual party order their favorite dish from the same restaurant or from similar eateries in their neighborhoods,” said Curtis.
It’s fair to say that most of your virtual posse won’t be super stoked to sit at a desk while partaking in Cinco de Mayo festivities.
Swap your computer’s camera with a Selfie Cork. “Simply place your phone in the $10 cork and plug it into a wine or tequila bottle. Now you can engage your friends with the freedom to roam around your home – and perhaps even start in an impromptu dance party,” said Curtis. Genius!
It’s also really fun to plan games and interactive activities. For example, virtual trivia company Bar None is offering a fun Cinco de Mayo-themed option, with trivia that includes questions about Mexican history, culture, and other fun traditions. Sometimes fun can be educational!
Create a virtual Step and Repeat!
“Hang traditional Mexican paper flowers in a concentrated area of each guest’s home,” said Curtis. There are a plethora of options on Etsy and nationwide party supply companies. “Make sure that everyone takes a photograph in front of the wall so that you can post them on social media together with a custom hashtag,” said Curtis.
Order a set of mezcal cups and send one to each person on your guest list! “These chic minimalist cups are handmade by a husband-and-wife duo in Puebla, Mexico, and are perfect for sipping on the smokey agave-based spirit during the virtual celebration,” said Curtis.
One idea is to take your Cinco de Mayo celebration to the next level by replacing the traditional tequila-based margarita with mezcal.
“Both come from the agave plant, but mezcal brings a smoky, refined flavor to a margarita that makes a statement,” said Loews Miami Beach Hotel Director of Food & Beverage, Steve Turk.
But feel free to get a bit of help, too. “If any of your virtual partygoers are like me, and completely inept at making cocktails, Cocktail Courier is your new best friend,” said Curtis. The nationwide cocktail kit company sends you delicious libations crafted by artisanal bartenders across the country. “You can’t go wrong with the classic Triple Spice Margarita, or the Lavender Paloma if your virtual vibe is a bit more sophisticated,” said Curtis.
At the end of the day, it’s your friends and it’s your party. So shape it in any way that’s fun for you. Break out the tequila or mezcal, and it’s sure to be a great time!