SOURCE: Madria Sangria

April 26, 2012 05:00 ET

Host a Chic Cinco de Mayo Soiree

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Apr 26, 2012) - (Family Features) The writer Nancie Carmody once said, "I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends." Entertaining for loved ones can be an enjoyable affair but also one that requires a lot of work. This Cinco de Mayo, Madria Sangria, along with entertaining expert Jillian Harris, are looking to help make those duties a bit more effortless.

Tips for Easy Entertaining
Jillian Harris and Madria Sangria have developed the following tips that will be sure to help anyone with their hosting duties not only on Cinco de Mayo but year-round.

  • Sangria Soiree: When hosting a Cinco de Mayo party, serve a delicious, popular and effortless readymade drink, such as Madria Sangria. For a refreshing twist, make frozen fruit cubes in place of ice beforehand to simply drop in to your drink for a cooled down, mouth-watering beverage.

  • ¡Viva Mexico! Fiesta: Host a fiesta that will have your friends wanting to hop on the next flight to Mexico. Set your table with festive orange plates and pink napkins and decorate the room with papier-mâché flowers and colorful tea lights to enhance the mood.

  • BYOF(ood): Instead of doing all the cooking, have a tapas-style potluck dinner. Encourage each guest to bring a unique small plate of their choice such as Sweet and Salty Bites or Spicy Shrimp. This not only makes your hosting tasks easier, but also allows your guests to show off their culinary skills.

  • DIY Drinks: To continue allowing your guests to show off their skills, try a "make-your-own" sangria bar to wet their palettes. Prepare an assortment of exotic fruits such as mangos and passion fruit alongside pitchers of pre-made Madria Sangria so your guests can add a fun twist to their drinks.

  • Hey Mr. DJ: Create a playlist with upbeat music that will have your guests itching to get up and groove. Move larger furniture out of the way to make room for an at-home dance party.

For more information on Madria Sangria and the recipes, please visit

Sweet and Salty Bites
Similar to prosciutto, jamón is a salt cured ham from Spain. If you can't find it at your local butcher, you can easily substitute with prosciutto.

1 medium cantaloupe or honeydew melon
20 to 30 paper thin slices of jamón or prosciutto

Cut melon into bite size pieces. Wrap jamón around melon slice and secure with a toothpick.

Spicy Shrimp

1 pound shrimp (medium-sized), peeled
5 cloves garlic, diced
2 serrano chilies, seeded and minced
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup sweet cooking rice wine (found in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh scallion, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

Sauté garlic and minced chilies in peanut oil over medium-high heat until garlic turns slightly brown. Add rice wine and cook for 1 minute to evaporate alcohol.

Add soy sauce and lemon juice. Let cook for 1 minute. Stir, add shrimp, and raise heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp become pink between one and two minutes. Then remove from stove immediately, garnish with chopped scallions, and serve shrimp, along with sauce.

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