Winning Cocktails for Stellar Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby Fun

May is full of life! Spring has arrived, days are longer, and there are more outdoor shindigs. Plus, great fetes like Cinco de Mayo and The Kentucky Derby are not only in this glorious month, but on the same day!  Here are a few fantastic cocktail recipes for each occasion.

Cinco de Mayo – Grab some friends, your sombrero and cheers to these tequila-loving sippers!

Basil Paloma

Basil Paloma

Paloma lovers – try this twist on the classic on for size. This Basil Paloma is bright, and filled with citrus herbal notes. It’s still sweet, yet boozy thanks to Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila – a perfect aperitif for a celebratory meetup.


  • 2 parts Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila
  • 1 ¼ parts fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • 1 dash Angostura® bitters
  • Basil sprigs
  • Grapefruit slice

Lightly muddle 2-3 basil sprigs in a shaker. Add remainder of ingredients into the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a basil sprig and grapefruit slice.

Muy Caliente

If spicy tipples are your jam, the Muy Caliente cocktail hits the spot. A delicious blend of lime juice, jalapenos, and Hornitos Plata Tequila delivers the kick you want. Before you know it, you’ll be shouting ‘¡Arriba, Arriba!’  

Muy Caliente


  • 2 parts Hornitos® Plata Tequila
  • ½ part lime juice
  • ¾ part simple syrup
  • 1 slice jalapeno

Muddle jalapeño in a glass, combine remainder of ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain into the glass over fresh ice

Kentucky Derby Cocktails – Yes, the traditional derby drinks like Mint Julep and other bourbon drinks are satisfying, but consider these modern takes for the classic event.

Bourbon Smash

Many ‘smash’ cocktails are simple to make, refreshing, and great for gatherings. This Bourbon Smash is no different, using raspberries, fresh mint and crushed ice. Cheers!

Bourbon Smash – Complements of Southern Living; Photo credit:


  • Raspberries
  • Sugar
  • Lime wedge
  • Mint or basil leaves
  • Bourbon of your choice

Place raspberries, sugar, lime wedge, and mint or basil leaves in a chilled 10-oz. tumbler. Gently press raspberry mixture against sides of cup with a cocktail muddler or back of a spoon to release flavors. Fill glass with crushed ice and bourbon; stir well. Serve immediately with a cocktail straw.

Black-eyed Susan Cocktail

Black-eyed Susan Cocktail – Complements of Southern Living; Photo credit:

Named after Maryland’s state flower, and home to the famous Plimlico Race Track, this cocktail has a delicious blend of pineapple juice, light rum, and orange liqueur. This is a sure crowd pleaser!


3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup pineapple juice

3 tablespoons vodka

3 tablespoons light rum

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

Crushed ice

Garnishes: lime slices, fresh cherries

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Fill 2 (12-oz.) glasses with crushed ice. Pour orange juice mixture over ice. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

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