It’s time to celebrate the Mexican festival, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

While the festival is close to Halloween (November 1-2), it is very different and not at all related. Dia de los Muertos is a celebration to honour loved ones that have passed away.

Although it’s normally primarily associated with Mexico, it is celebrated all across Latin America and in areas with a large Latino population.

You’re likely to see a lot of calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls), with lots of beautiful and intricate face painting. And lots of sweets are eaten on Dia de los Muertos to balance the bitterness of death, with sugar skulls being left at graves and altars.

Celebrations take place at burial sites. Food, drink and music are all a big part of Dia de los Muertos, with tequila and mezcal bottles often left at altars and cemeteries to tempt deceased loved ones to join the party. It’s a happy and reflective get-together, rather than a sad and upsetting event.

Dia de los Muertos has been celebrated for centuries, and it’s always important to understand the traditional practices before celebrating yourself. If you plan to party in your own way this year, here are five perfect and delicious agave cocktails to get you in the spirit.

Sunset Hummingbird - Zero waste cocktail designed by Trash Tiki

Ingredients

45ml Altos Reposado tequila

15ml turmeric and ginger syrup

10ml Ramazotti

20ml lemon juice

2 dashes of Butterfly Pea Peychauds

Method

Shake the ingredients together

Serve in a rocks glass

Garnish with a Marigold flower and 2 drops of Neroli oil

El Diablo

Ingredients

50ml Patron Silver tequila

25ml fresh lime juice

150ml ginger beer

Top with Creme de Cassis

Method

Combine all ingredients except ginger beer in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill.

Strain onto ice in a mug or Collins glass.

Top with ginger beer and drizzle Cassis over the top.

Garnish with a lime wedge.

Sweetcorn Old Fashioned

Ingredients

50ml Patron Anejo tequila

1 bar spoon caramel sweetcorn syrup

1 dash bitters

Method

Add ingredients over ice

Stir with bar spoon

Garnish with orange peel

Mezcal Paloma

Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/kurmanphotos/

Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/kurmanphotos/

Ingredients

50ml mezcal

50ml ruby grapefruit juice

One lime

Agave syrup

Fresh grapefruit wedge to serve

Method

Pour the mezcal, grapefruit juice, squeezed lime juice and agave syrup into a cocktail shaker.

Top with ice and shake.

Strain into a tall glass and garnish with a wedge of grapefruit.

Classic Margarita

Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahvain/

Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahvain/

Ingredients

50ml tequila

25ml Cointreau

30ml freshly squeezed lime juice

Squeeze of agave syrup (optional)

Salt

Method

Cut the lime and run the wedge around the top of a rocks or cocktail glass.

Lay out some salt on a small plate and run the glass around it to create a salt rim.

Add your tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and optional squeeze of agave syrup to a cocktail shaker.

Top with ice and shake.

Strain into your glass filled with ice (en las rocas) or into a cocktail glass.

Will you be mixing up some agave spirits this weekend?

Which cocktail do you like the look of?

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