Hosting Tips

A Spicy Cinco de Mayo Potluck with Cholula

By Camille Styles
cinco de mayo is a favorite

Y’all are going to get a major dose of Cinco de Mayo inspiration from us this week, and it kicks off today with this colorful fiesta potluck that I hosted for a few friends last week. The vibrant tabletop and festive vibe were inspired by the array of Cholula bottles on the table — we incorporated my favorite hot sauce into the decor, the food (of course), and even sent home guests with their flavor of choice. Everyone brought their favorite Mexican-inspired dish to contribute to the meal and we had a blast sampling each other’s creations. Click through the slides for my elevated take on shrimp tacos, the recipe for a Mexican Street Corn salad that’s destined to be a new favorite, and a whole lot more inspiration for throwing the spiciest Cinco de Mayo bash ever.

*photos: Buff Strickland

This post was sponsored by Cholula® Hot Sauce. For quick tips, recipes and creative ways to Uncap Real Flavor™ visit

One of the best parts of a potluck is that it makes things really easy on the host — so I took a similarly stress-free approach to the table setting. I think summertime should be all about easy entertaining! I topped a basic white linen tablecloth with a Mexican-inspired runner, then pulled out wood chargers, white plates with a fun orange bead border, and colorful glassware to make margaritas feel extra festive.

You guys, I’ve discovered my new favorite garnish for party cocktails: mini pineapples! I picked these up from our local flower market, and then got inspired to mix up a batch of pineapple margaritas to put them in.

Click here to get the recipe for my Pineapple Margaritas.

Since I wanted to send guests home with their favorite flavor of Cholula Hot Sauce, I thought it would be fun to let the bottles do double duty and serve as festive place cards on the table.

I picked up a variety of Cholula’s Original, Green Pepper, Chipotle, Chili Garlic, and Chili Lime, then to add a bit of decorative natural texture, cut a foot of thick jute twine and wrapped it around the neck of the bottle. I secured it in place with just a dot of hot glue, and then tied on a name tag for each guest.

I decided to put a fun twist on this Cinco de Mayo party by making it a potluck and asking each guest to bring their signature Mexican dish spiced it up with a different flavor of Cholula. It made the party fun and interactive (and also let me be lazy by only having to make one dish.)

Chanel’s Mexican Corn Salad was the most delicious take on the Mexican Street Corn I make every year. This one gets grilled and taken off the cob for less mess, then tossed with chunks of avocado, cilantro, red onion, a creamy dressing, crumbles of cotija cheese, and Cholula Green Pepper Hot Sauce.

Click here to get the recipe for the spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad.

I carried these pineapple and shrimp tacos straight from the grill to the table. Living in Austin, we eat SO many tacos on a regular basis, so I’m always trying to reinvent them and come up with something that feels fresh. The grilled shrimp in these gets topped with a light and spicy pineapple-cucumber salsa that I’ll be putting on all kinds of tacos all summer long.

Click here to get the recipe for my Grilled Pineapple & Shrimp Tacos!

Suruchi brought a healthier take on chips and guac: she paired hers with the freshest crunchy vegetables and proved that crudité doesn’t have to be boring!

I love any excuse to serve food family style on big platters in the center of the table. It instantly puts guests at ease, and I’m able to sit and relax at the table instead of rushing back and forth from the kitchen.

A few tips for potluck success:

  1. Send an email 1 week before the party letting guests sign up for what category of food they’d like to bring (i.e. grain dish, green vegetable, salad, etc)
  2. As the host, I usually provide the main course and let guests know what it is so they can plan side dishes that coordinate.
  3. It’s fun to have a menu card at each setting or little cards set out on the buffet that identify which items were made by each person. Everyone can email after the party to swap recipes!

The Cholula Green Pepper Hot Sauce was the perfect complement to my grilled pineapple and shrimp tacos. Just a few drops provide a distinct burst of flavor that makes just about every dish taste even better.

Cinco de Mayo feels like the kickoff to summer, and this sunshine-y day made me dream of the long weekends spent poolside with friends that are right around the corner. By the way, these floral arrangements took me about 5 minutes to do: I picked up a few bunches of ranunculus and anemones in happy shades of red and pink, then gathered in mismatched glass jars for an effortlessly chic centerpiece.

Cheers to the most delicious Cinco de Mayo! Leave a comment to let us know how all of y’all are planning to celebrate this year.

I loved getting to partner with Cholula on this party, since I’ve been a big fan of the hot sauce for years. By using the ripest local ingredients and a creative blend of authentic spices, Cholula’s generations-old original recipe has gone unchanged over the years. It’s a classic that will never go out of style!