With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate! Most celebrations will include food and drinks themed for the occasion. Personally, my favorite part of Cinco de Mayo celebrations are the margaritas, however I do not recommend that as your only form of sustenance. So for your Cinco de Mayo festivities, here are five recipes that are margarita themed.

Strawberry Margarita Jell-O Shots



24-30 large strawberries

1 box Strawberry Jell-O

1 cup tequila

3/4 cup cointreau


1-2 limes

(Special equipment: A melon baller or small measuring spoon with relatively sharp edges)


Berry prep:

  1. Balancing the strawberry on its side, parallel to the cutting board at the point where it is widest, cut off the top.
  2. Still holding it the same way, cut off a tiny part of the strawberry’s bottom tip so the berry can stand upright. Make sure not to cut off too much or you’ll create a hole at the bottom. Repeat with all remaining strawberries.
  3. Using a melon baller or small measuring spoon, carefully scoop out the insides of the strawberries.
  4. Put them all on a baking sheet and dry them a little with a paper towel.


  1. Combine Jell-O mix with 3/4 cup boiling water and stir 2 minutes to completely dissolve.
  2. Stir tequila and cointreau into the Jell-O mixture.
  3. Using a container with a spout, pour Jell-O/booze mixture into strawberry cups. Fill them up as much as possible, because Jell-O shrinks when it solidifies.
  4. Refrigerate four hours or until firm.

Finishing Touch:

  1. Zest lime into a plate of sugar.
  2. Slice lime (you can use the same one if you don’t care about the aesthetics, or a new one if you do) into thin rounds, then cut into small wedges. You may also want to cut a small chunk through the center of each wedge’s flesh so they can balance on the tip of the strawberry.
  3. Wet the sides of the solidified Jell-O shot with lime or water, roll in your sugar-lime zest, and garnish with lime wedge.



Margarita Shrimp Cocktail




1 1/2 lbs. medium shrimp, deveined with shells (26-30 count)

4 cups water

2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

2 Tbsp. lime juice

5 black peppercorns

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Peel shrimp, leaving tails intact; reserve shells.

In 4-quart pot, combine shrimp shells, 4 cups water and 2 tsp. salt to boiling over high heat. Add wine, 2 tablespoons lime juice, peppercorns and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 30 minutes.

Strain stock into large bowl and discard shells, peppercorns and cilantro. Return stock to pot and heat to boiling over high heat. Add shrimp and immediately remove pan from heat. Cover and let stand 8-10 minutes until shrimp are pink and firm.

Meanwhile, fill large bowl half full with ice and water. When shrimp are done, remove and plunge into ice bath to chill. You can freeze the shrimp stock for later use.


1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp. tequila

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2-3 drops hot pepper sauce

In medium nonreactive bowl, mix all sauce ingredients. Stir in cold shrimp to coat.

Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 3 hours, before serving. To serve, line Margarita glasses with Bibb lettuce and fill with shrimp. Garnish with lime wedges or cilantro sprigs, if desired.


Crock Pot Margarita Chicken Dip



  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (a rotisserie chicken works well)
  • 2 1/2 cups Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Small container of Pico de Gallo (store bought or homemade)


  1. Cut the cream cheese into small cubes (approximately 1 inch) and layer across the bottom of a medium sized crock pot.
  2. Spread the shredded chicken over top of the cream cheese and cover with shredded cheese. Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot.
  3. Turn the crock pot on high, cover, and heat for about an hour or until the dip is heated through. Stir the dip several times as it is warming up to mix the ingredients together and keep the bottom from browning.
  4. Serve warm with tortilla chips and top with Pico de Gallo.


Margarita Cookies with Salty Sweet Tequila Glaze


Servings 24 Cookies



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • Green Food Coloring optional
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Orange Extract
  • 1/2 cup sanding sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Tequila Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon tequila



  1. Mix flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, lime peel, extract and food coloring if using; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a log about 9 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in wax paper.
  2. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven 350°F. Mix sanding sugar and kosher salt. Roll each cold dough log in mixture to coat evenly. Cut dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on ungreased baking sheets. If desired sprinkle a bit of additional sugar and salt mixture on tops.
  4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
  5. Drizzle Glaze over cooled cookies. If desired sprinkle lightly with salt/sugar mixture. Let stand until glaze is set.

Tequila Glaze:

  1. Mix 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1 tablespoon each water and tequila in small bowl until smooth. (Or omit tequila and use 2 tablespoons water.)


Margarita Cheesecake


Serving Size: 3- 5″ cheesecakes or 24 mini-cheesecakes

Note: This recipe should be doubled if using a 9″ springform pan.


  • 3.5 ounces (~6.5 whole crackers) graham crackers
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 20 ounces (2.5 blocks) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp King Arthur all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 ounces tequila
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lime


  1. Lightly grease the inside of springform pans. (Muffin tins can be used as well, but be sure to line with oven safe cupcake wrappers)
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely crumbled and no large pieces remain.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and light brown sugar. Stir until fully mixed.
  4. Press crust mixture evenly into the bottom of each pan. Set pans aside.
  5. In a countertop mixer with the paddle attached, cream the cream cheese on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add sugar and continue mixing on medium speed for another 2 minutes. Scrape the inside of the bowl to make sure mixture is fully mixed.
  7. Add flour and mix for another minute on medium speed.
  8. Add eggs and additional yolk one at a time, mixing on low speed between each addition for ~30 seconds, or until each addition is fully absorbed.
  9. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Take care to not overmix the batter!
  10. Add the tequila, salt, lime zest, and lime juice and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.
  11. Pour batter into prepared pans. Gently tap the pan to release any air bubbles
  12. Bake in a hot water bath at 325 degrees until the centers of the cakes are just barely set. The mini cheesecakes should take about 37-40 minutes to bake, and the 5″ cakes about 50 minutes. Do not open the oven in the first 30 minutes!
  13. Cool the cakes completely in the pans. Wrap each cake, in the pan, in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze overnight.



There you have it! Five ways to incorporate a love of margaritas into your celebration. They may not have quite the same effect as a margarita, but they will definitely add some flair to your festivities. So thanks for reading, and happy Cinco de Mayo!