Ricky Eisen's Cinco de Mayo Hosting Tips

The celebrated New York event planner spills her ideas for a true fiesta

Ricky Eisen, the celebrated Manhattan event planner and founder of Events and Celebrations by Between the Bread, has hosted many events in her 30-plus years in the business. And now she is spilling her tricks of the trade to The Daily Meal yet again, this time focusing on a true Mexican fiesta, just in time for Cinco de Mayo 

Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner or a blow-out bash, Eisen knows how to cater to both small and large crowds. With such a culture-rich holiday like this one, it’s nice to stick to the roots of the Mexican traditions, but show off your creativity with a few embellished flairs here and there.

To kick off this party in style, here are Eisen's tips:

• Décor — Eisen suggests bringing out earth tones in your décor by using terra-cotta on the tables and around the party area. A sombrero makes a great centerpiece and you can match the table colors to the hat. The sombrero can also be used to hold chips around the brim. Piñatas also make for colorful decoration and can be hung throughout the party area.

• Food — Everyone loves classic Mexican food, so keep it simple but festive by creating a taco bar. It is an easy setup for the host and guests can pick and choose what they want. Use a brightly colored runner underneath the platters of food to add a pop of color to the party.

• Drinks — Every party should have a signature cocktail, and for Cinco de Mayo, it should include tequila. There are plenty of interesting twists to the classic margarita — try incorporating pineapple, coconut, or pink grapefruit juice.

• Music — The party will instantly come alive once the sound of Mexican music comes through the speakers. Play Latin-inspired artists such as Santana, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, or go classic with mariachi and salsa.

• Activities — Near the end of the party, have everyone take a swing at the piñatas that were being used as decoration. Fill them with candy, which can also serve as a sweet treat at the end of the night.