Fiesta Party

It wouldn’t be a fiesta without some delicious, festive drinks and their yummy sidekick-dips! Try these recipes of two favorite cocktails, the margarita and the Paloma, along with some fresh homemade guacamole and warm queso dip. You will want to download the printable recipe cards and keep them within reach in your kitchen!

Fiesta Party: 4:45- 6:00 p.m. CLICK HERE TO JOIN

Jump to Margarita Jump to The PalomaJump to GuacamoleJump to Queso

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Fresh Lime Margaritas

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The origins of Mexico’s popular drink, the margarita, are as numerous as the variations of the drink itself.

Margarita, which means daisy in Spanish, evolved from a popular pre-Prohibition drink called “The Daisy.”  The refreshing Daisy cocktail was a mix of brandy, citrus juice, and grenadine, and was served over shaved ice.

What You’ll Need 

  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 4 lime wedges
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/3 cups crushed ice

Here’s How

In a pitcher, combine first five ingredients; stir until sugar is dissolved. Moisten rims of 4 margarita or cocktail glasses with lime wedges. Sprinkle salt on a plate; dip rims in salt. Serve in prepared glasses over crushed ice.

Tips from the Test Kitchen

Frozen Lime Margaritas
Reduce lime and lemon juices to 2 tablespoons each. Increase superfine sugar to 1/4 cup and crushed ice to 4 cups. Add 3/4 cup limeade concentrate. Prepare glasses as directed. In a blender, combine tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, lemon juice, superfine sugar, limeade concentrate, and crushed ice; cover and process until smooth. Yield: 5 cups

Frozen Strawberry Margaritas
Follow directions for Frozen Lime Margaritas, except add 2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries and reduce crushed ice to 2 cups. Yield: 4 cups

The Paloma

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The Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail starring smooth tequila and sweet-tart grapefruit soda.

When you think of Mexican cocktails, you likely envision classic lime margaritas. However, the Paloma, which is Spanish for dove, might even be more popular than the margarita in Mexico. Made with tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime juice, the Paloma boasts a sweet and zesty flavor with a smooth finish. Best of all—it’s a snap to make.

Palomas pair well with traditional Mexican dishes like spicy pork and green chili verde, and appetizers like tortilla chips and guacamole.

What You’ll Need 

  • coarse sea salt
  • 1-1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit soda (Some of our favorites are IZZE, Fresca, Jarritos, and San Pellegrino.)
  • 1 lime wedge

Here’s How 

  1. Rim the Glass
    Gently moisten the rim of a highball glass with water or fresh lime juice. Pour a bit of the sea salt onto a flat, clean surface (such as a plate or cutting board). Dip the glass into the salt lip-side-down to evenly coat the rim in salt—just the same as you’d do for a margarita.
  2. Shake and Pour
    Add a few ice cubes to the glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine a dash of salt, the tequila, and lime juice. Pour the drink into the glass, then slowly top with the grapefruit soda.
  3. Top it Off
    Garnish with a lime wedge and a light sprinkling of more salt,
    if desired.

Fresh Homemade Guacamole

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Guacamole dates back to the 14th century, when the Aztecs used to make a mashed concoction of avocados, chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, and salt. The name comes from the Aztec word “āhuacamōlli,” which literally translates to avocado sauce. Today, this nutritious and delicious dip is popular all over the world and its presence is a must on any party table.

Avocados are naturally high in monounsaturated fat, a so-called “good fat” that can lower your blood cholesterol along with the risk of stroke and heart disease.

What You’ll Need 

  • 3 medium ripe avocados, peeled and cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (optional)

Here’s How

Mash avocados with garlic and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Tips from the Test Kitchen

Interchange Citrus Flavor: You can use lemon and lime juice interchangeably to achieve a different flavor. Orange juice can be substituted but you will need to add a little lemon or lime to spark up the flavor. 

Add Fun Flavorful Ingredients: Peach and jalapeño; black bean and corn; pomegranate and feta cheese; bacon and cojita cheese; radish and mandarin orange; cajun shrimp and red bell pepper; jicama and pineapple; bleu cheese and toasted almonds; apple and white onion; basil and toasted pine nuts; grilled chicken and cherry tomatoes; or mango and habanero.

Queso Dip

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It would be hard to find many people who will see a basket of tortilla chips and not think it needs a side of guacamole or warm queso!

Queso means cheese in Spanish. Often made with yellow cheese, this super easy dip can be tailored to meet a variety of tastebuds. Add a variety of cheeses for depth, spice it up with peppers, make it meaty with some ground meat—no matter the combinations, it is bound to be a hit!

What You’ll Need 

  •  2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 2-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Here’s How

STEP 1: Sauté Onion and Garlic
In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat; saute onion and garlic until tender; add the chilies; cook and stir for about 5 minutes.

STEP 2: Stir in Milk
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and milk until smooth; stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir gently until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

STEP 3: Add in Cheese and Melt
Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in cheeses. Add in small amounts and allow cheese to melt between additions. Garnish with cilantro, chopped tomatoes, and sliced jalapeños. 

Queso can be refrigerated for 2-3 days.