One Spanish word we quickly learned while living among the highly-transient expat population in Mexico City was despedida, a.k.a. farewell party. There seemed to be one happening on a monthly basis in our apartment building alone. As we approached the last few months of our time in Mexico, we paid more attention & made lots of mental notes as to what the ideal despedida might look like.
Our general policy with social gatherings is: more food, more people, more drinks, more better. Additionally for this event, I’d decided was that the only thing I reeeeeally wanted needed was: a tacos al pastor spit, with a dude serving tacos live at the party. (Because I knew *that* wasn’t going to ever happen again once we left DF.) Eventually John acquiesced.
Given that we aren’t actually Mexican, I’m not saying that the following list is by any means an official plan for organizing a Mexican despedida. But I am saying that we had an absolute blast, as did (I think) the actual Mexicans we had in attendance. That, to me, equals success.
Recipe for: Great Mexican Despedida
Serves: roughly 100 hungry/thirsty friends
Papel Picados: colorful, cut paper decor in the colors of the Mexican flag to perk up a lame-o party room, + nattily-dressed guests
Lona: a massive tarp covering the outdoor party area during rainy season, whose presence will almost ensure that it doesn't rain
Carne: an asinine amount of beef. In this particular American-skewed case, enough that you have to use a large cooler to mix the ingredients for John's Magic Burgers
Maestro de la parrilla: the Grillmaster, also appropriately attired
Alcohol y Mesero: just a small selection of adult beverages...plus a fantastic bartender/waiter to serve them. If you're in DF, we highly recommend Jose Cosme, who can be booked for events by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Eligio Torres Zurita at 56-58-44-16 or cell 04455-54371894. Cost was about $100 pesos/hr pre-tip & he was fantastic, even cleaning up as he went.
Botella Grande: a comically-large inflatable bottle of Pacifico, purchased at the Corona brewery. Rife with potential for witty photos all night long.
Amigos: a bunch of great friends, whose presence is the only sad thing about the despedida because it reminds you how much you will miss them after you leave
...y mas amigos....
...y mas amigos...
Mariachis: the oldest, largest mariachi band to be found in Plaza Garibaldi, thoughtfully hired for you by your friends
El Mariachi Grande: They include the Big Jolly Mariachi, who comes complete with a massive sombrero that I'm totally sure gets cleaned following every performance, after it's been on the heads of 90% of the attendees
El Mariachi Apestoso: They also include The Stinky Mariachi. I don't know when this guy last washed his Velveteen Rabbit Mariachi Suit, but suffice it to say, it had been a while...
Copitas de Gelatina: Jello shots (This may also be a *slightly* Americanized despedida ingredient.) The mariachis informed us they could not have excesssively-cold drinks w/ice for fear of damaging their delicate vocal chords, but jello shots were evidently A-OK.
Tequila: room-temperature tequila shots were also deemed acceptable by the discerning mariachi crew
Fotógrafas: identify two lovely friends who are quite handy with a camera & beg them to document the evening's shenanigans since you will be too busy chatting to do so. Thanks much (and all photo credits!!) to Jenny & Aryani, plus their support staff of Brian & Scott.
Limbo: it's generally a good sign when an impromptu limbo challenge emerges at your despedida
Baile: if the host and hostess both suck at latin dancing (note: unlikely at normal despedida), a thoughtful friend should attempt to teach the hostess how to dance, even if she is giggling like a moron.
Tensión Sexual: what would a party be without some good old-fashioned sexual tension between partygoers? Here, you can see the sexual tension FLYING across the air in front of Karina between me & The Stinky Mariachi. Meanwhile, John chats away in the background, oblivious to the orange-clad threat on his marriage.
Una Taquiza de Pastor: last but not least, the tacos al pastor spit, complete with the stern-looking tauqero. Tacos al pastor were my favorite taco option in Mexico-- marinated pork accompanied by onion, cilantro & pineapple. After waiting until the last minute to arrange it, I went with the local El Tizoncito chain (http://eltizoncito.com.mx/taquizas.php), who performed admirably-- even arriving almost an hour EARLY to set up! (shock) Hire your own trompo de pastor starting at ~$3k pesos for ~320 tacos + all the fixings/plates and tip (go to their Condesa location on Tamaulipas to sign a contract).
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a large sala de fiestas & shake to combine.