The hallmarks of a great Cinco de Mayo fiesta are crispy, salty (even a little oily) tortilla chips, bowl upon bowl of fresh guacamole (bonus if you add pomegranate seeds) and, of course, a killer cocktail. This year, we’re bypassing the traditional margarita in favor of this south-of-the-border punch from La Condesa’s new chef, Chris Mortenson. At the Napa spot, the chef serves this potent party drink as a shaken cocktail in martini glasses. Keeping the needs of the host in mind, we adapted his recipe so you can make it in a pitcher and serve it in casual mason jars as a communal, fuss-free and wonderfully festive drink.
Hibiscus Flower Punch
Recipe adapted from Chris Mortenson, La Condesa, Napa, Calif.
1½ ounces dried hibiscus flowers
½ cup sugar, plus more to taste
3¾ cups tequila
1¾ cups rum
1¾ cups simple syrup
Juice from 5 limes (about ¾ cup)
Lime wheels, for garnish
1. In a large saucepan, bring 1½ cups of water to a boil. Place the hibiscus flowers in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Soak the flowers for 20 minutes, then pour the liquid through a strainer into a large pitcher. Add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved. Add 3 cups cold water to the pitcher and adjust the sugar to taste.
2. Add the tequila, rum, simple syrup and lime juice to the pitcher and stir to combine. Fill ten medium glasses halfway full with ice, then divide the punch among the glasses. Serve immediately, garnished with lime wheels.
It's the details that count! Try these tips
Stop by La Condesa next time you’re in Napa Valley.
Find hibiscus flowers at specialty markets, global food stores or online.