The Perfect Food & Drink Pairings for a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

On September 16th, we celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule. Dieciséis de Septiembre also kicks-off Hispanic Heritage Month which spans until Oct.15, so there’s a lot to celebrate this month! There’s no better way of celebrating these events than with the best Mexican recipes and a few cocktails to go along with them. 

Celebrate with friends and family by making a whole dinner of it — complete with appetizer, entree, dessert, and drinks to go with each course. Try the pairings and let us know what you think!

chalupas and margaritas for an appetizer

Authentic Mexican Chalupas

Forget the fast food chalupas with mountains of toppings — these are the real deal. 

Ingredients:

  1. 8 small corn tortillas
  2. Vegetable or canola oil for frying
  3. 1 cup tomatillo salsa verde on this site, plus extra for serving
  4. 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
  5. 2 cups pulled cooked chicken or pork shredded
  6. Cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a heavy bottomed medium skillet, add about 1/4″ of canola oil.  Set over a medium to medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, but not smoking, rest a tortilla on the oil (it will float- like a boat) and let it cook for about a minute, until bubbling.  Spoon 2 Tbsps of salsa into the center of the tortilla and gently spread it around, but not quite to the edge.  Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tortilla edges and bottom are crisp.  
  2. Transfer the chalupa to a tray lined with paper towels to drain.  Continue in this method with the rest of the tortillas.
  3. Divide the chicken or pork and queso fresco over the chalupas.  Garnish with cilantro and extra salsa verde if desired.
Source: Garlic and Zest

Classic Margarita on the Rocks

Margaritas are a classic for a reason and are the perfect way to kick off your celebratory dinner! Break out the tequila and fresh-squeezed lime juice for this favorite drink — and don’t forget the salt!

Ingredients:

  1. 2 oz blanco tequila
  2. 1/2 oz orange liqueur
  3. 1 oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
  4. 1/2 oz agave syrup
  5. Garnish: kosher salt & lime wheel

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the glass by running a lime wedge over the rim of the glass. Then, dip the rim of the glass in the kosher salt.
  2. Add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and agave syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into your prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy!
Like this recipe? Check out our teqila specials and make a glass for yourself.
Source: Liquor.com
Carne guisada and palomas for entree

Carne Guisada

This hearty entree is surprisingly simple but so delicious! Serve it with flour tortillas on the side and enjoy! 

Ingredients:

  1. 3 lbs stew meat
  2. 1 Tbsp oil (lard, bacon grease, etc)
  3. 1 medium onion, diced
  4. 1 small green bell pepper, diced (optional)
  5. 3 Tbsp tomato sauce or 1 large tomato, diced
  6. 1 Tsp garlic powder or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 2 Tsp ground cumin
  8. 2 Tsp salt
  9. ½ Tsp black pepper
  10. 2 Tbsps all-purpose flour
  11. 1 cup water or chicken stock
  12. Flour tortillas, rice or mashed potatoes, for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, brown the stew meat, onions and green pepper (if using) over high heat.
  2. Add the tomato sauce (or tomato), garlic powder (or fresh garlic), cumin, salt and pepper and stir well.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and mix well. Add the water (or stock) and mix well so there are no lumps.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover pan, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 ½ hours, or until meat is tender.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Serve with rice, tortillas or mashed potatoes!
Source: Kitchen Gidget

Paloma

This classic, citrusy drink is a refreshing and delicious cocktail with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It is a great way to stay refreshed while enjoying bites of your tasty carne guisada!

Ingredients:

  1. 2 oz tequila
  2. 1/2 oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
  3. Grapefruit soda, chilled, to top
  4. Garnish: lime wheel, kosher salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of a highball glass, and dip the rim in salt (optional).
  2. Add the tequila and lime juice to the glass, and fill with ice.
  3. Top with grapefruit soda, and stir briefly and gently to combine.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Like this recipe? Check out our liquor specials and make this Paloma for yourself.
Source: Liquor.com
Sopapillas and spiked horchata for dessert

Sopapillas

Who can say no to fried dough? Sopapillas are a favorite among many different Hispanic cultures, and 

Ingredients:

  1. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 4 tbsp shortening
  5. 1 ½ cups warm water
  6. 2 quarts oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and shortening. Stir in water; mix until dough is smooth. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
  2. Roll out on a floured board until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch squares. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with sugar, cinnamon, and honey.
Source: AllRecipes

Spiked Horchata

This drink makes for a great end to an even greater meal. It takes a little more prep work, so make sure you plan ahead for this one! But once it’s made, it’s the perfect pair for the fresh sopapillas.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups white rice
  2. 2 sticks cinnamon, plus more sticks for garnish
  3. 1 cup coconut water
  4. 1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  5. 1/3 cup sugar
  6. 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon
  8. 1 pinch salt
  9. 1/4 cup rum

Instructions:

  1. Rinse rice under cold water in a tightly meshed sieve to clean and remove any debris. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add rice and cinnamon sticks to a heat proof bowl. Pour boiling water over rice and cinnamon sticks. When cool enough to handle, cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight.
  2. The next day, pour the rice and water into a blender. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  3. Blend for 30 to 45 seconds or until liquified. Strain rice water over a bowl through a tightly meshed sieve or cheesecloth to remove particles.
  4. Add coconut water, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and dark rum to rice water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Pour into your favorite glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Like this recipe? Check out our liquor specials and make this cocktail for yourself.
Source: The Spruce Eats

Whether you’re kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with a dieciséis de Septiembre celebration or hosting a dinner like this later in the month, it’s always a great time to celebrate Hispanic heritage. So, gather your friends, make some of your favorite dishes, and toast to Mexican Independence, Hispanic Heritage, and a vibrant culture! ¡Salud!

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