Lately it seems that April showers bring May showers, which means my kicky outdoor Cinco de Mayo fiesta has been replaced by plans to visit my favorite local indoor Mexican restaurant for some south of the border eats and mariachi tunes. But next year, weather permitting, I will be prepared: I’ve already made my shopping list.
Pretty paper poms set the stage—they’re handmade, so they add a colorful pop without being the predictable strings of chile pepper–shaped lights. Lots of Web sites offer tips for making your own, but a) I’m not that crafty, b) I have a low tolerance for frustration, and c) I think, because they’re only $30 for a set of seven, I can safely leave the paperwork to the experts without buyer’s remorse.
Now, for the table. Low bowls act like plates, but their higher sides minimize spillage—especially important when you’re serving stain-making salsas and overflowing tacos. The rainbow of hues will keep guests from repeating the “Wait. Whose plate is this?” conversation, and the sustainable, organic bamboo will make you look like an eco-savvy (and colorful) host.
Mexico has miles of coastline, and these 100% cotton palm-print napkins give a subtle, elegant nod to la playa. The graphic pattern and mossy green color will have you setting these on your coastal table year-round.
But it is Cinco de Mayo after all, which means you have to have some fun. This little piggy molcajete, made from seasoned volcanic rock, gives the traditional guacamole serving dish a cheeky twist.
And of course we can’t forget the all-important margarita glass. There are variations aplenty out there—stemless, painted, colorful, and clear—but I was in the market for something a bit more Gothic. I spent an almost embarrassing amount of time hunting for what I was looking for without success until … Target. These bamboo-stem glasses give the table just the right amount of drama at a can’t-beat-it price ($22.99 for four).
Food Editor Julia Rutland has packaged some of her favorite summertime cocktails on our home page at coastalliving.com. And keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming June 2009 issue, where she reveals her ultimate margarita recipe—it’s our most buzz-worthy concoction yet!