Don’t confuse sangrita with the Spanish-style wine punch sangria—it’s completely different. All sangrita recipes—and there are many—include fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit, alone or in combination) balanced with a hint of hot sauce, salt, and acidity in the form of tomato juice or tomatillo. Think of a drinkable salsa.
Start with the Shot: Tequila and Sangrita
Among friends in Mexico, the ceremony of tequila is handled with the greatest respect (this is not a spring-break-style orgy of shots, lemon, and salt). The bottle is set on the table along with small, straight-sided glasses, a bowl of limes, and little shots of sangrita—a kind of liquid palate cleanser that perfectly complements herbaceous tequila. As the hours pass, the tequila will be slowly sipped and savored, along with good food and conversation, many jokes, and little nips of the sangrita.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Taste and Texturehot & spicy, savory, tangy
Type of Dishbeverage, non-alcoholic beverage
- 5 ounces tomato juice
- 3 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice, or a combination
- Pinch kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce such as Tapatio
Stir together all the ingredients and serve in shot glasses at room temperature with no ice.
Substitute orange juice for the lemon juice.
Substitute raw tomatillos, pureed and strained, for the tomato juice.
2010 Deborah Schneider