The festive celebration of Cinco de Mayo is almost upon us – and since it falls close to the weekend, we see no reason not to keep the party going for several days. If you’re planning to host a gathering featuring tequila and tacos, you probably need to grab a few last-minute items to make everything just so. We’ve rounded up the 11 essential items you need to host the perfect Cinco de Mayo party, including embroidered tablecloths, baking dishes, candles, and more. So. Much. Fun.
What are the essential items to host a Cinco de Mayo celebration?
In the history books, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 battle victory against the French amid the Franco-Mexican War. But nowadays, we recognize it as a celebration of Mexico and Mexican-American culture which have undoubtedly influenced America for the better. If you’re planning a fiesta to embrace the rich heritage of Mexico and enjoy the crowd-pleasing flavors of Mexican cuisine, it’s important (and fun) to make it as authentic as possible.
We turned to the experts — Mexican artisans who have perfected their traditional crafts, for all the essentials you need to host a festive Cinco de Mayo party. From embroidered tablecloths to tortilla baskets to mole baking dishes, check out these 11 must-haves that also help support the people whose culture we’re celebrating.
11 essential items you need to host a festive Cinco de Mayo party
1. Platitos (Small Bowls)
All the crafts and folk art carried by Mexico by Hand come from the state of Michoacán– home to over 100,000 artesanos (craftspeople) who create an amazing variety of beautiful objects produced entirely by hand out of clay, wood, fiber and metal. These charming small bowls are perfect to serve up salsa, dips, and snacks such as nuts and carrot sticks.
BUY NOW – $20.00.
2. Mezcal and Tequila Infusion Kit
Javier Gutierrez Esponsa and his team of dedicated glassblowers in Tonala, Mexico produced this Mezcal and Tequila infusion and tasting kit that includes 4 luminous handblown glass tasting cups and a wide top decanter. Infusion recipes are included inside to help you get the party started.
BUY NOW – $110.00.
3. Otomi Tablecloth
Otomi textiles represent a great Mexican tradition and is instantly recognizable for its vibrant colors and whimsical floral and animal patterns. This piece was embroidered on natural rustic cotton fabric manta by artisans from Tenango County , Hidalgo Mexico.
BUY NOW – $650.00.
4. Tortilla Press
This Oaxacan made tortilla press has won accolades from Epicurious, Saveur, America’s Test Kitchen and others. Doña Rosa has been selling her design—which can create a range of tortilla thicknesses—to locals for longer than she can recall. And the stylish colors are sure to give your gathering a festive touch.
BUY NOW – $95.00.
Brighten things up with this set of four servilletas inspired by traditional pre-Hispanic fabric-making practices and handmade by Mexican artisans. Use them to keep your tortillas hot off the press, as napkins, or as tea towels.
BUY NOW – $24.00.
Guacamole is must at any Cinco de Mayo party and you’ll want to serve it up in this mortar and pestle made of fine-grained lava rock for peak authenticity. Artisan Don Enrique of San Salvador El Seco, Puebla, who has been making molcajetes for over 20 years, has perfected this design for the ideal texture and consistency.
BUY NOW – $95.00.
7. Mole Baking Dish
If you’re attempting a batch of mole or just need a one-of-a-kind dish to serve enchiladas or nachos, this traditional pottery piece will be a wonderful centerpiece for the meal. Handmade from the clay of Mexico’s Guadalajara region, each dish is shaped by hand using techniques passed through the generations.
BUY NOW – $55.00.
8. Tortilla Baskets
These colorful hand-woven baskets are traditionally used to keep tortillas warm but we love them as a catch-all for anything in the kitchen from utensils to cocktail napkins. Produced by small artisan entrepreneurs, we’re partial to the green, yellow and red colorway of the Mexican flag.
BUY NOW – $22.00.
9. Carved Serving Spoons
Each one of these beautiful decorative wooden spoons are hand carved by award-winning artisan, Jose Luis Cerda Baez of Patzcuaro. Representing traditional Michoacán carving, they instantly add a special touch to any table.
BUY NOW – $18.00.
10. Agave and Tequila Decorative Sculpture
Mexican artisan Javier Ramirez pays homage to the cultural beverage of his hometown—tequila. At the center of “Tree of Life” is a tequila distiller standing atop a wood barrel as he harvests from an agave plant, surrounded by figurines depicting flowers, birds, and butterflies. Each sculpture is crafted from ceramic and painted by hand down to the smallest detail.
BUY NOW – $133.00.
11. Oaxacan Floral Candle
For generations, candles have occupied an important role in the culture of the Zapotec town of Teotitlan del Valle. Traditionally used as ceremonial candles and for special occasions, these gorgeous floral candles crafted from beeswax from Chiapas are handmade by the women of Casa Viviana, an artisanal candle-making studio.
BUY NOW – $60.00.
Essential items for a perfect Cinco de Mayo party
Based on our collective experience, those are the 11 essential items you need to host a festive Cinco de Mayo party, including embroidered tablecloths, baking dishes, candles, and more.
Happy Cinco de Mayo to all those who are celebrating! And even if you can’t quite get a fiesta together in time, we think these Mexican-made kitchen and entertaining goods will add both utility and character to your home all year-round.