What to bring to Cinco de Mayo themed potluck
April 30, 2014 3:24 PM   Subscribe

What is the easiest, cheapest thing to bring to a Cinco de Mayo-themed potluck that's six hours away and will have about 40 guests? I will have a cooler but no time to do anything the day of other than drive. I was thinking sangria but that's going to get expensive unless I make it with crappy wine. Other ideas? Really pressed for time but not ready to compromise too much on quality. There are several birthdays being celebrated as well, if that helps.
posted by HotToddy to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
chips and salsa is the easiest/cheapest. Or, even cheaper, chips with homemade bean dip. You can make bean dip a day ahead no problem.

Also: sangria is just fine to make with crappy wine. In fact I've never seen anyone suggest making it with anything BUT cheap wine. It just needs to not be real tannic. Two buck chuck merlot will do great. You're mixing it with juice and brandy (I tasted a great version once that involved 7-Up.) Nobody will be able to taste fine wine nuances.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:27 PM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Provide material for mixing some micheladas? All you'd have to do is pick up some beer and fixins.
posted by thirdletter at 3:35 PM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Agreed that sangria should really only be made with cheap wine, so I think you're good to go that route if you like. Another beverage option would be to make up a big batch of agua fresca. Here's a list with links to a bunch of options:


If you want to add the possibility of booze, bring along a cheap bottle of tequila...a shot of tequila in an agua fresca is a really easy and delicious cocktail, but then you can leave it out for kids or anyone else who does not care to drink.
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:38 PM on April 30, 2014

Well depending on what you'd be happy to do, I can imagine a easy taco bar/station to be pretty easy. Use the cooler as a heat container and bring meat, limes, tortillas and salsa/pico de gallo.
posted by Carillon at 3:39 PM on April 30, 2014

I'd also vote for agua fresca. It's delicious as a mixer or alone.

If you want to cook ahead, carnitas are great the second day and use an inexpensive cut of pork.
posted by quince at 3:47 PM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

I feel weird about confessing to a 'recipe' that involves just opening up jars and cans, but

1 brick cream cheese
1 tin of corn
1 jar of salsa
1 jar of refried beans

in a slow cooker

makes a really good warm bean-ish dip for tortilla chips.

It is possible to make it look nicer by making it in a baking dish in layers (warming the cream cheese and diluting it with milk so it can spread out), topping it with grated cheese and jalapenos and black olives. I prefer the slow cooker slop version, though. A spicy, thick jarred salsa works better than fresh, you can use fresh or frozen corn instead of tinned, refried black beans instead of pinto doesn't come out as well. It reheats perfectly (it also freezes perfectly) and travels well.
posted by kmennie at 4:15 PM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was thinking sangria but that's going to get expensive unless I make it with crappy wine.

Why not stick with Mexican beer? It's inexpensive and you could even get a selection of different brands. Buy some ice when you get close to the party location if you want to keep them out in coolers or buckets or whatever. In my experience, Cinco de Mayo is a pretty casual affair, and anyone bringing a case or two of beer would be cheered.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:20 PM on April 30, 2014

You know what, you're right. Mexican beer is the best, easiest, cheapest thing, almost everyone will like it, and leftovers won't go to waste. Great. Thanks, everyone!
posted by HotToddy at 4:33 PM on April 30, 2014

Another vote that sangria is meant to be made with crappy wine - that's why you add all that other delicious stuff to it.
posted by maryr at 8:32 PM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mexican beer is the best,

also -put out a bowl of limes a knife and a cutting board beside your beer to complete the awesomness
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:09 PM on April 30, 2014

« Older Can you recommend a good bluetooth mouse?   |   Need Lodging Advice and Possibly Itinerary Tweaks... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.