Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Five Next Level Food & Drink Pairings

It’s that time again, time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! As we mentioned last year when dishing on delicious drinks to enjoy with friends, learning, acknowledging, and respecting the history and meaning of this day are vital first steps to any good merry-making:

Cinco de Mayo is the annual celebration commemorating Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The reason Cinco de Mayo started becoming popular in America involves an interesting history that, especially if you partake in the festivities, is important to take the time to get to know. According to this VinePair piece by Adam Teeter, a push for Mexican-American civil rights grew in the 1940s and ‘50s, and the Chicano movement formed in the 1960s, encouraging Mexican Americans to embrace their heritage. Cinco de Mayo was one impactful way to do so with a big celebration.

In addition to having an important reason and significance, Cinco de Mayo is a perfect occasion to come together with loved ones. The beginning of May is a glorious time weather-wise--the cold of winter is gone and the dreary showers of April are starting to subside, depending on where you live. The sun is gracing us with its presence a lot more, and we all want to soak up as much time outdoors as possible. Combine that warmth and the excitement of sunny months ahead with friends and family, and all you’re missing is one absolutely vital component for any effortlessly month-making party: great food, and great drinks.

Food and drinks are at the center of all the best festivities, of course, something to relish with your nearest and dearest. And the only thing better than tasty food and beverages is tasty food and beverages that pair especially well together. This is such an easy way to really elevate your get-together. It feels fancy, even though it requires no actual fancy skills or extra steps; it’s just about making a few purposeful choices. And suddenly, even the most irresistible dishes and drinks become even more so, because of how these duos work together to highlight each other’s best qualities. So, without further ado, some game-changing food and drink match-ups!


Ross Brewing Co.’s Tio Valero Mexican-Style Lager and Nachos with Chorizo

Frankly, you can’t go wrong with any lager and nachos…or any beer and nachos…or any lager and any dish…you get the idea. But Ross Brewing’s Tio Valero Mexican-style lager and nachos with chorizo is just one of those It couples with serious star power. Chorizo goes really well with a lager that has just a hint of sweetness, which not only counters spiciness but also complements caramelized notes from cooking. A lager is crisp, clean, and well carbonated, too, ready to cut any fattiness from both the meat and the nachos’ cheese, keeping things light so you can keep enjoying them. Tio Valero is made with flaked corn, agave nectar, lime peels, sea salt, and Mexican lager yeast, so it has all those perfect qualities in spades plus a zesty kick that will make any plate of nachos just sing. 


Tolago Hard Seltzer Agave Lime and Baja Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are obviously a popular treat on Cinco de Mayo (or, like, any old Tuesday), but they’re also a popular pairing for several different beers and cocktails because of the different seasonings, sauces, and toppings involved. From a squeeze of lime to some bright mango salsa to the crunch of spicy radishes, fish tacos are somehow even better with a drink that features lime or citrus to complement those additions, crispness to cut through the buttery-ness of the fish, and carbonation to cleanse your palate. You want something full of flavor but light enough to match the tacos’ intensity. Enter: Tolago Hard Seltzer’s Agave Lime variety. It zings with lime, sparkles with bubbles, boasts a touch of sweetness, and is so refreshing and easy-drinking.


Happy Hour Tequila Seltzers Sharp Lime and Birria Tacos

Birria tacos have been fast on the rise here in the States, and it’s no wonder why--if anything, birria’s appreciation here is long overdue. Fried and dipped in a savory stew, birria tacos explode with savory warmth, complex and spicy heat, and, depending on your own additions, notes of herbs, spices, and/or citrus. You want a drink to pick up on those pops of flavor, and that will cut through the decadent fattiness and caramelization of the beef, but that will offer perfect balance: enough flavor from the drink and enough carbonation to hold its own and temper the tacos, but not so much that they overwhelm or downplay the tacos’ incredible flavors and aromas. Happy Hour Tequila Seltzers’ Sharp Lime fits the bill exactly. And, a sparkling water made with real tequila and real lime juice, this drink is perfectly Cinco de Mayo, an authentic celebratory tipple made simple in its ready-to-go canned format.


The Rare Barrel Lotsa Heart Golden Sour Beer and Chicken Mole

Chicken mole can be a labor of love, but oh, is it worth it. And if you enjoy cooking, this is a great activity with which to celebrate Cinco de Mayo--get friends and family involved! Or, you know, you could just order in; whatever it takes to experience these very special flavors. One of many different kinds of mole, mole poblano fuses spice, heat, and a touch of roasty, bittersweet chocolate, all of which works wonders with savory chicken. The Rare Barrel’s Lotsa Heart Golden Sour Beer is loaded up with Elephant Heart plums, which will pick up on a different note in mole, which is a touch of dark, dried fruit. Beyond that interesting and delicious match-up, this beer will contrast the mole with some brightness and tartness. With its acidity, alcohol, and carbonation, it will cut sweetness and the meat’s fatty character, and it will shine while also helping the mole shine.


Sail Away Club Pina Colada and Churros

No celebration is complete without dessert, right? Churros are a classic, crispy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside, a coating of cinnamon sugar creating a satisfying candy-like crust to break through on your way to light, doughy perfection. You’ve already got spicy cinnamon and sweet caramelized flavors working there, plus you can dip churros in melted chocolate for more indulgent goodness and more flavor complexity. You need a drink that’s up to the task of being really festive, special, and unique for this occasion, but that of course complements everything happening in the churros. Meet Sail Away Club’s Pina Colada, a cold brew hard seltzer. A genius combination, this drink takes roasty, spiced coffee flavors and makes it light, crisp, and effervescent with hard seltzer. Then, the pina colada’s tart pineapple and sweet coconut come in, working together for a transcendent finish. These different notes play well with the churros, hold their own, and don’t overwhelm.

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