27 Drink Recipes For Cinco De Mayo Besides Margaritas

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday in Mexico commemorating an 1862 battle that took place during the Franco-Mexican War. Still, many people in the U.S. and beyond may celebrate the holiday with Mexican cuisine and plenty of margaritas without understanding the historical significance of the date. Cinco de Mayo, for many people, has become a holiday to show appreciation toward Mexican culture. As we foodies know, often the best way to learn about a group of people is to eat and drink as they do.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations are usually marked with tacos, guacamole, and salt-rimmed margaritas. However, it can get old to indulge in the same old meal year after year, and it also doesn't help you to expand your experiences with a particular cuisine. We're encouraging you to try something different this Cinco de Mayo, whether it be experimenting with a new-to-you Mexican recipe or opting for something different to drink that the usual margarita.

If you need some inspiration, we've rounded up 27 drink recipes that don't include margaritas but are still perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Whether it's a cocktail that hails from Mexico or just a drink that pairs well with the flavor profiles of the food fare, we have a recipe to encourage any kind of drinker to try something new this Cinco de Mayo.

1. Classic Paloma Cocktail

Palomas are probably one of the easiest drinks to transition to from a margarita because the flavors are similar. Both cocktails are tequila-based and rely on citrus flavor to brighten up every sip. The major difference is that instead of a bunch of lime juice, a Paloma relies on grapefruit juice for a sharper flavor. Our recipe uses tequila blanco, grapefruit, and lime juice, and features a chili-salt rim for an added kick.

Recipe: Classic Paloma Cocktail

2. Pimm's Cup Cocktail

Those who are lucky enough to enjoy warm weather this Cinco de Mayo need a refreshing drink to quench their thirst. Tequila isn't everyone's liquor of choice, which is why a classic Pimm's Cup cocktail is an underrated option for the holiday. The base of this cocktail is the herbal gin-based liqueur Pimm's No. 1. The booze is mixed with sparkling water, lemonade, and plenty of colorful garnishes to up the freshness. It's also light enough to pair with rich foods like enchiladas or chilaquiles without bogging you down. 

Recipe: Pimm's Cup Cocktail 

3. Classic Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise is essentially a lazy margarita, but that doesn't mean it's any less delicious. The drink requires no shaking or juicing and comes together in a glass with just three ingredients. It's basically just tequila blanco mixed with orange juice and grenadine. The hardest part is the pouring technique to achieve that sunset hue inside every glass, and even an amateur mixologist can probably master the recipe relatively quickly.

Recipe: Classic Tequila Sunrise

4. Refreshing Coconut Cream Mocktail

Coconut is one of those flavors that make anything taste tropical, so it pairs well with light dishes like Aguachiles or grilled shrimp tacos. Our recipe for a coconut mocktail is a great booze-free drink option that can easily be amped up with a shot of rum or tequila. The recipe features coconut milk, coconut cream, and pineapple juice to really highlight those tropical fruit flavors, and a hint of brown sugar to sweeten things up. 

Recipe: Refreshing Coconut Cream Mocktail

5. Classic Bahama Mama Cocktail

Another ideal tiki cocktail to mix things up during this Cinco de Mayo is a classic Bahama Mama. The rum-based cocktail is essentially a boozy fruit punch. The drink gets its fruity flavor from pineapple juice, orange juice, and coconut rum. A splash of grenadine gives the Bahama Mama its enticing salmon color that's even prettier to look at if you top each glass with a cocktail cherry and a mini umbrella. 

Recipe: Classic Bahama Mama Cocktail

6. Tropical Sangria

Those who prefer drinking wine can give their glass of vino a fruity kick by making our Tropical Sangria recipe. It's a less boozy option as it only contains white wine. We opted for fruit like oranges, kiwi, pineapple, papaya, and mango to really up the tropical-inspired taste. The recipe also isn't overly sweet thanks to the addition of sparkling water, which also adds a slight fizz to every glass. 

Recipe: Tropical Sangria

7. Classic Painkiller Cocktail

Another staple tiki cocktail is the Painkiller, which is another ideal drink for those who don't like sipping on tequila. Painkillers have a base of dark rum that is masked with flavors of pineapple, orange, and coconut. The drink is shaken, which gives it a slightly frothy and robust mouthfeel that adds to the overall drinking experience. It's another cocktail that looks ideal when adorned with a miniature umbrella. 

Recipe: Classic Painkiller Cocktail 

8. Best Michelada

A Mexican cocktail that deserves just as much praise as a margarita, especially on Cinco de Mayo, is the Michelada. The simple drink is kind of akin to a Bloody Mary but features Mexican beer rather than a vodka booze base. It makes for a great drink anytime, especially as a hair-of-the-dog brunch cocktail Aside from tomato and lime juice, we flavor our Micheladas with soy sauce, hot sauce, and Worcestershire as well as serve each cocktail with a spicy Tajin rim. 

Recipe: Best Michelada

9. Coconut Martini Cocktail

For a more sophisticated Cinco de Mayo cocktail, you can't go wrong with a frosty coconut martini to kick off the celebration. This drink is ideal for vodka drinkers as the recipe features vodka, coconut rum, coconut cream, and lime juice. We make each drink even more tempting by adding a desiccated coconut rim to every martini. The martini could also be a great nightcap as it almost resembles a liquified dessert. 

Recipe: Coconut Martini Cocktail

10. Classic Gimlet Cocktail

Gimlets, in general, are underrated cocktails, but they can also be the ideal partner to a Cinco de Mayo feast as it's light and full of citrus flavor. Our gimlet recipe is traditional as it features dry gin and lime cordial as the main ingredients. We add fresh lime and simple syrup to complete this zesty drink that's easy to sip on all night long, regardless of how many tacos you eat.

Recipe: Classic Gimlet Cocktail

11. Tropical Rum Runner Cocktail

A rum runner is another often overlooked tiki drink, especially on Cinco de Mayo when tequila takes center stage. This tropical cocktail is unique as the white rum is shaken with banana liqueur and blackberry liqueur for a distinct flavor that sets it apart from a Bahama Mama or a basic rum punch. Our recipe also features lime juice and pineapple juice so it isn't overly boozy, and a splash of grenadine for that alluring pink hue. 

Recipe: Tropical Rum Runner Cocktail

12. Homemade Watermelon Lemonade

Another alcohol-free drink option that the whole family will love during your Cinco de Mayo celebration is a batch of homemade watermelon lemonade, which also serves as a great mixer for your liquor of choice. We use fresh, whole watermelon to make the flavor as intense as possible. The lemonade is also made of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and garnished with lime slices and mint leaves to create the ultimate summer sipper. 

Recipe: Homemade Watermelon Lemonade

13. Gin Fizz Cocktail

We are advocates for drinking more gin on any occasion because of its versatility and endless ability to pair well with food. Gin cocktails are also often light and refreshing, like a basic gin fizz. The most potentially intimidating part of this cocktail is the egg white that is used to add foam to the drink. Otherwise, it's essentially a lemon-infused Tom Collins that is often way too thirst-quenching to sip on slowly. 

Recipe: Gin Fizz Cocktail

14. Sweet And Spicy Mangonada

A staple Mexican drink that is more of a treat than anything is the alcohol-free Mangonada. It gets its sweetness from blended mango, its spice from chamoy sauce, chili powder, and salt, and its zest from a hint of lime juice. The drink is another crowd-pleasing option that tastes great with a shot of tequila or vodka thrown into the mix. Mangonadas can be another great dessert-drink hybrid for your Cinco de Mayo celebration that you'll end up wanting to make all summer long. 

Recipe: Sweet And Spicy Mangonada 

15. Classic Ranch Water

Ranch water is another Mexican cocktail that's essentially a simplified version of a margarita that is also lighter than the typical tequila cocktail. Ranch water is basically made with tequila blanco, lime juice, and Topo Chico mineral water. That's as easy to make as it sounds. It is way less filling than most other cocktails that feature plenty of juice and other mixers, which also makes it the perfect option for sipping alongside a big Cinco de Mayo feast.

Recipe: Classic Ranch Water

16. Frozen Blue Hawaiian Cocktail

Another fun and frozen drink option that's sure to be a head-turner at any Cinco de Mayo party is a Frozen Blue Hawaiian. This cocktail gets its signature color from blue Curaçao which is also paired with palatable white rum. The drink gets its flavor from frozen pineapple and coconut cream that are blended with the booze to make an adults-only version of a tasty smoothie.

Recipe: Frozen Blue Hawaiian Cocktail

17. Authentic Pisco Sour Cocktail

Pisco is a traditional Peruvian brandy that also should be more of a bar staple in the U.S. than it currently is. Cinco de Mayo is a great time to experience this South American spirit through a Pisco sour. Pisco Sours are another cocktail that features a frothy egg white for a thicker body. The recipe also features Angostura bitters, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice to balance out the Pisco's flavor.

Recipe: Authentic Pisco Sour Cocktail

18. Classic Mojito Cocktail

Mojitos might have originated in Cuba, but the minty rum drink is a great partner to a wide variety of cuisines. A mojito starts with a bunch of muddled mint leaves. The recipe features simple syrup, white rum, and club soda for a sweet and light flavor that allows that fresh mint to shine through. Mojitos, like margaritas, are endlessly customizable, so you can add ingredients like blueberries or cucumbers into the shaker for a twist on the original.

Recipe: Classic Mojito Cocktail

19. Citrus Sun Tea

For those avoiding booze, you can never go wrong with pairing a well-balanced meal with an herbal iced tea. One citrus-infused recipe that is begging to be paired with chiles rellenos and chicken quesadillas is our Citrus Sun Tea drink. The recipe requires a bit of foresight as the tea sits in a sunny spot for a few hours to infuse. We suggest serving it with orange slices, lemon slices, and sprigs of mint to up the radiant flavor.

Recipe: Citrus Sun Tea

20. Sweet Rum Punch

For a Cinco de Mayo celebration for a crowd, you can't go wrong whipping up a pitcher of sweet rum punch. Our recipe starts with white rum that gets the punch treatment by being mixed with pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine. We opt to add a few dashes of orange bitters to mellow out the sweetness, which only makes it even easier to down a few glasses without realizing it.

Recipe: Sweet Rum Punch

21. Classic Mai Tai Cocktail

Mai Tais are another fiesta-worthy tiki drink that is never a bad idea on a hot day. Our Mai Tai recipe opts for dark or spiced rum rather than light rum. We also add coconut rum and Grand Marnier to up the booze factor. The other ingredients are mostly standard, including lime, orange, and pineapple juices. One wildcard is the addition of orgeat syrup, but you can also substitute almond syrup in a pinch.

Recipe: Classic Mai Tai Cocktail

22. Classic Piña Colada

It would be wrong to not include a classic Piña Colada in a list full of refreshing and tropical-inspired drinks for Cinco de Mayo. We keep our recipe for the blended cocktail standard with pineapple juice, white rum, and coconut cream. This Piña Colada recipe is the prime example of not fixing something that isn't broken, which is why it's a no-brainer cocktail to swap for your typical blended margarita.

Recipe: Classic Piña Colada

23. Refreshing Jamaican Sorrel

Sorrel is a Jamaican drink that is made with dried hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus is a common flavor in many Mexican drinks, so it's another great pairing option for Cinco de Mayo dishes. Sorrel is made by simmering dried hibiscus, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and ginger in a pot before straining. A bit of sugar is added to each drink before it's poured over ice, and the labor of love instantly becomes worth it upon that first floral sip.

Recipe: Refreshing Jamaican Sorrel

24. Classic Mimosa

There are very few occasions where a mimosa isn't an appropriate cocktail and a Cinco de Mayo celebration definitely isn't one of them. Champagne and orange juice are a foolproof combination that pairs well with any party. It's a great option for brunch celebrations that may include dishes like Huevos Rancheros or breakfast burritos. If you want to make the drink a bit more tropical, you can swap orange juice for something atypical like pineapple or passion fruit juice. 

Recipe: Classic Mimosa 

25. Porn Star Martini Cocktail

Speaking of passion fruit, perhaps no drink highlights it better than the Porn Star martini. This martini is a potent flavor bomb. Our recipe combines passion fruit liqueur, vanilla vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker. It's even boozier as the cocktail is topped with Prosecco and garnished with a beautiful passion fruit half on top.

Recipe: Porn Star Martini Cocktail

26. Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

Frozen daiquiris are extremely close relatives to a blended margarita, which is what makes it a great swap for Cinco de Mayo. Instead of tequila, our recipe uses white rum as its alcohol base. The booze is blended with frozen strawberries, sugar syrup, and lime juice, and plenty of ice to make it thick. This daiquiri is another drink that resembles more of a dessert than a refreshment, but it tastes so good that you won't even mind.

Recipe: Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

27. Frose Cocktail

One final cocktail option for wine drinkers on Cinco de Mayo is a Frose. It's basically the same drink as a frozen daiquiri or margarita but with dry rosé wine instead of liquor. Our recipe blends wine with Chambord liqueur, strawberries, raspberries, and lemon juice to make it fruity and zesty. It's one of those cocktails that tastes so delicious that it is actually pretty easy to forget that it contains alcohol.

Recipe: Frose Cocktail