The global novel coronavirus pandemic may have grounded us, but we can still enjoy happy hour. This daily series will provide delicious drink recipes for you to try at home. So call your friends for a virtual sip session and traverse the globe, even if it's only in your mind.
Today's cocktail hails from Mexico – Sangrita.
What is it?
Forget the lime and salt: in Mexico, a shot of tequila is traditionally served with a matching glass of this juice combo that’s sweet, sour, spicy – and blood-red.
Allegedly, Sangrita was born when thrifty drinkers poured off the juices from a bowl of a Guadalajara-style fruit salad called pico de gallo, seasoned with salt, lime and ground hot piquín chiles. Although Sangrita was little known outside the state of Jalisco until later in the 20th century, it has since spread across most of the country.
3fl oz (90ml) fresh-squeezed orange juice
3fl oz (90ml) pomegranate juice
2fl oz (60ml) tomato juice
2 tbsp Valentina hot sauce (or more, to taste)
pinch of salt
Step 1: Combine all ingredients and chill.
Step 2: When ready to serve, taste again and balance flavours as necessary.
Sangrita recipes abound. Purist bartenders mix citrus – sometimes including bitter Seville oranges – and pomegranate juice, plus ground chilli. A busy cantina may prefer the ease, speed and extra nourishment of tomato-based concoctions with ready-made hot sauce. Worcestershire sauce, grated onion and grenadine syrup all have their fans.
Regardless, each sip of Sangrita should have a balance of sweet and savoury, sour and hot. It should have body, but not be too thick – the goal is to clear and stimulate the palate, not coat it. It’s typically served alongside tequila blanco, the clear, unaged spirit, which can still have a bit of a burn. The fruit juice tempers this, while complementing the tequila’s natural sweet-spicy notes.
This recipe combination employs tomato juice for body and is more typical of what you’d find in a Mexico City bar. For extra national pride, serve this as a Bandera: one shot each of Sangrita, tequila and lime juice, a combination that mimics the red, white and green of the Mexican flag.