As you may have noticed, Veronica and I love to host parties. I am obsessed with sites like Etsy, Pinterest, as well as creative blogs that share DIY projects to host a gorgeous celebration on a budget.
It was only recently that I discovered Nikki, over at Tikkido. She featured our Pumpkin Empanadas recipe on the Festivities Fall Magazine, which is a joint production with Frog Prince Paperie. Once I saw this gorgeous magazine I had to reach out and ask if we could share some of her stunning Día de los Muertos photos and Marigold Muerte Drink with our readers. If you do not have marigolds growing in your garden try substituting with other edible flowers.
Be sure to check out her site for some great Día de Los Muertos party ideas, crafts, and recipes. You can learn how to make velum photo candle holders, skeleton plates, papel picado candle holders, floral ice cubes, mini tissue paper flowers, miniature papel picado, Mexican tin napkin rings, and more.
Take it away Nikki~
Memories of holidays past and loved ones gone are cherished. New are memories made, destined to be held dear by those we love. That’s why we do this. So with glue in our hair and flour on our noses and smiles on our faces, let’s go make some memories.
October 31st comes and goes, but for those who celebrate the Day of the Dead, it’s not time to pack away the skeletons yet. In Mexico, much of Latin America, and any countries with Hispanic populations, Midnight, October 31st marks the beginning of a much more important holiday.
Its roots can be traced back to ancient Aztec rituals celebrating life and the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The Spanish conquistadors attempted to quash this “pagan” tradition, but were so thoroughly unsuccessful, that in order to integrate it with Catholic tradition, they moved it to November 1st and 2nd to coincide with All Saints Day and All Souls Day celebrations.
Our Día de los Muertos celebration is traditionally a happy affair. The holiday is for remembering loved ones who have passed away, true, but mostly for celebrating their lives, remembering the joy they brought to us. At our Day of the Dead party, dinner is served; giving partygoers who favor savory treats plenty to choose from. Sweet corn guacamole and chips, sweet corn tomalito, carnitas, shredded chicken, and tossed marigold salad filled out the dinner buffet.
Guests ate on glass plates with papel-picado style tissue paper skulls peeking through and everywhere—everywhere—there were candles lighting the velum candleholders with photos of loved ones who have passed.
Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) and sugar skulls are traditional offerings at Día de los Muertos celebrations. Our sweets table also featured churros, tres leches trifles, conchas, sugar cookies decorated like sugar skulls and with marigolds, and pumpkin empanadas (made with Muy Bueno’s spectacular recipe).
As the sun set and the night wore long, we enjoyed the friendship of those still with us and the sweet memories of those who are gone. The occasion may be called the Day of the Dead, but it’s a magnificent celebration of life like no other.
Photography and recipe: Nicole Willis
Marigold Muerte Drink
Did you know that marigolds are edible flowers? Not just edible but delicious, with a zesty, citrus-like flavor. Since marigolds are the most common flower associated with Day of the Dead celebrations, it was the perfect flavor inspiration for our cocktail, the Marigold Muerte.
This drink is incredibly smooth and tasty, so drink with caution. The citrus flavors from the marigolds pair perfectly with the Limoncello and crisp, light, Vinho Verde that has notes of lime. It doesn't taste nearly as strong as it actually is, so be warned; there's a reason I named this drink the Marigold Muerte (Marigold Death)!
1 ounce marigold-infused simple syrup
1 oounce Limoncello
6 ounce Vinho Verde sparkling white wine
Marigold Infused Simple Syrup:
Marigold-infused simple syrup is a beautiful golden color, with a woodsy, floral nose and a delicate citrus flavor.
Take equal parts water and sugar, and heat together with clean, organic marigold petals in a small saucepan. Stir constantly and heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let the marigold petals steep for 24 hours. Remove petals and store the marigold-infused syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Put ice in a highball glass. Add the simple syrup and Limoncello.
Fill to the top with Vinho Verde. Stir gently and serve.