Best Drinks, Films and Food for Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate the holiday on Friday with these delicious, entertaining and surprising combos

Cinco de Mayo — the fifth of May — celebrates the Mexican Army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War.

While it remains a celebrated day in Mexico and has little to do directly with America, the date has become one that has morphed into a major holiday for many Americans. Even Vice President Mike Pence is hosting a White House celebration of the day.

People use the date as an excuse to get together with friends, share some Mexican-inspired drinks and food, and celebrate a different culture.

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You can expect plenty of leftists and elitists to use the day, of course, as a means to make political points and attack people they have vilified as racist — but ignore that white noise. The day is not about politics. It’s a fun way for people to learn about history and to get together and enjoy something different, no polemics required.

Tequila Sunrise Mimosa: Looking for a perky drink to have with friends under the sun? Try a simple tequila sunrise mimosa.

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All you need is sugar (for the outer rim of the glass, if you choose), grenadine (a few splashes), bubbly (a bottle to serve two), tequila (2 ounces), and orange juice (half a cup). Throw it all into a couple of glasses, with orange for garnishes — and you’re set to go!

For a movie to pair with the mimosa, all you need is a good-natured film to enjoy with friends. Try “La Bamba,” the movie that turned Lou Diamond Phillips into a star. The flick tells the story of Chicano rock ‘n’ roll legend Ritchie Valens — and is highlighted by wonderfully entertaining and catchy musical numbers.

For some food to top it all off, try this recipe for tacos:

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Bulldog Margarita: Half the fun of this drink is the name — and the look. Throw one cup of ice, two-thirds cup of lime juice, one cup tequila, and a quarter cup of orange liqueur into a blender. Once everything is mixed well, throw it into cups and tip 7-ounce bottles of Coronita beers into each glass; let them drown as you sip away. Many also recommend topping with a fruit skewer.

For a movie pairing, try something fun and light but appropriate for a drink with “bulldog” in its name. “El Mariachi” is a 1992 feature from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez that introduced a Spanish version of Eastwood’s Man with No Name for its protagonist. The movie is an amazing example of the triumph of capitalism — and the determination of an artist to succeed.

Rodriguez self-financed the $7,000 movie partly by participating in a scientific trial for a potential pill (he ended up getting a placebo). Rodriguez did the whole movie himself — which led to a slick-looking action feature with nothing but pennies at its disposal. Rodriguez would later go on to get millions from Hollywood to create two sequels starring Antonio Banderas, “Desperado” and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” — both also appropriate to watch while sipping a Bulldog Margarita.

For some food to finish the trilogy of pleasures, snack on some Mexican street corn:

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Fireball Margarita: Need a little spice in your life? Try a fireball margarita. Take three cups of frozen strawberries, two cups of ice, half a cup of tequila, a quarter cup of Fireball Whiskey, half a cup of lime juice, and three teaspoons of sugar. Mix it all up in a blender. Serve in glasses rimmed with salt and a strawberry or lime garnish, and you’re good to go.

For a spicy drink like this, you need a film with a bit of spice itself. How about the 1998 blockbuster, “The Mask of Zorro,” starring Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins?

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Zorro is a Mexican hero who has adorned the pages of comics for years. He’s also been the subject of plenty of motion pictures, but none as good or as fun as “Mask of Zorro.” The film turned Catherine Zeta-Jones into a star and managed to present the character of Zorro as someone everyone could root for, no matter who they are or where they were born. It’s a movie that is pure fun.

It’s a movie that is pure fun.

A sequel came out in 2005, and since then fans have been clamoring for a third picture; many even speculate that a crossover could be done between Banderas’ Zorro and Quentin Tarantino’s Django character from “Django Unchained” — especially since the two met and partnered up in a 2015 comic book series, co-written by Tarantino.

For food to go along with Zorro’s adventures and that spicy drink, try a dessert like some sopapilla cheesecake bars.

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