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Ingredients for a Great Mexican Despedida

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 eligiotoze1@hotmail.com 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.

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7 Comments on “Ingredients for a Great Mexican Despedida”

  1. #1 Jenny
    on Jan 9th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you for letting us relive this super evening! Come back so we can do it again!

  2. #2 Leslie Limon
    on Jan 10th, 2011 at 12:23 am

    You’re recipe included all of the ingredients needed for a awesome despedida. :) Looks and sounds like you all had fun. And I love the pic of you and El Mariachi Apestoso.

  3. #3 Tweets that mention Ingredients for a Great Mexican Despedida – Midwesterner in Mexico -- Topsy.com
    on Jan 10th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Julie Carmann, Julie Carmann. Julie Carmann said: finally, a new blog post! Ingredients for a Great Mexican Despedida: http://wp.me/pBLxT-Ie #Mexico #mariachis [...]

  4. #4 Adriana Barrera
    on Jan 12th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I was there and honestly as a Mexican I think Julie and John did a great “Despedida”, very mexican style!!! And as Julie mentioned the only sad part was that the “Despedidas” are for say goodbye to someone you really appreciate!!!

  5. #5 Julie
    on Jan 15th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Excellent, I am glad the general consensus seems to be that we were on target for a “traditional” despedida!! :) Thanks all. :)

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