Honor Dia Los Muertos with food and beverages

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images) /

While the alter might be hold the calavera, Dia Los Muertos is more that the colorful skulls that capture people’s eye. The annual celebration is a reason for friends and family to gather and celebrate meaningful people in their lives. From family members to influential individuals, a look back at the past can make the present and future more rooted in the life lessons that those people shared.

According to Alejandra Vela, Guest Experience Manager – Hilton Cancun, An All-Inclusive Resort, many at home celebrations include an ofrenda. That altar usually consists of seven levels with many traditional items.

Items often include pictures, candles, flowers (usually marigolds), sugar skulls, water, pan de muertos and favorite food and beverages. While it is not required to have the seven levels or all of these items, it is the most traditional approach.

As Vela shared, “it is believed that the deceased return to their earthly homes to visit and celebrate with their loved ones.” All of these offerings are meant as a warm welcome and a visual reminder of how much these people continue to impact their lives.

Since pan de muertos is a traditional food served during Dia Los Muertos celebrations, McCormick partnered with Eva Longoria and Lilliana Vazquez and shared some of their traditions as well as a simple pan de muertos recipe.

Longoria shared, “Día los Muertos is all about family and food. What’s so special about the holiday is that rather than grieving over the loss of loved ones, we celebrate their lives with good company and food.”

While Vazquez said that the traditional bread is one of her favorite celebratory foods, the McCormick recipe is easy to make in any home kitchen. McCormick’s easy Pan de Muerto recipe can be found on the brand’s website.

What does Aaron Sanchez recommend for Dia Los Muertos?

Highly regarded chef Aaron Sanchez has a preferred food and beverage pairing for the celebration. In partnership with Tequila Cazadores, one of the oldest tequilas in the world, this pairing concept is rooted in tradition.

Sanchez recommends making a birria, which is a slow cooked stew that is often found in Jalisco. Known for its hearty flavors, the richness of the recipe needs a fruitier counter balance. In this situation, the recommended cocktail is a Cantarito Familiar, a fruity cocktail with various juices and grapefruit soda. The brightness of the cocktail helps to balance the robust flavors in the stew. This food and beverage pairing brings a celebration to the table.

For another cocktail to enjoy during the holiday, consider the Espolòn Marigold Margarita. Building off the traditional marigold flower featured during the annual celebration, this cocktail is a blend of spicy flavors.

dia los muertos
(Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images for Espolòn) /

Here’s how to make an Espolòn Marigold Margarita.

Marigold Margarita


  • 2 oz Espolòn Blanco
  • .5 oz Monin hibiscus syrup
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • .5 lime juice


  • Build drink in tin, add ice, shake and strain over fresh garnish with a salt rim.

If heat doesn’t bring a warm memory to the ofrenda, this margarita from Tanteo Tequila is a lovely option. The use of fig makes adds a nuance that will make many people rethink the classic cocktail.

Tanteo Tequila La Ofrenda Margarita


  • 2 oz. Tanteo Chipotle Tequila
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Light Agave Nectar (or simple syrup)
  • 1 Bar Spoon of Fig Preserves


  • Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh fig.

Lastly, the celebration does not have to end on November 3. Modelo is bringing the art to the celebration with a special partnership with Mister Cartoon. The exclusive line of merchandise was part of a giveaway and can be purchased via Zumiez stores.

In addition, the limited edition 24 oz Model Especial and Modelo Negra cans have been transformed with various designs. As people raise a can, they can toast to friends and family who have influenced them.

How do you celebrate Dia Los Muertos? Do you honor the tradition in a non-traditional way?

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