Not to be confused with the Spanish wine-and-fruit-based alcoholic beverage sangria, sangrita (meaning “little blood”) is a traditional accompaniment to a tequila served completo; a non-alcoholic sipper that cleanses the palate between fiery doses of agave.
Years ago I was taught that sangrita is a blend of tomato and orange juices, with the addition of something spicy (hot sauce, typically) for a little kick. But further research has convinced me that this American sangrita recipe, while still enjoyable and certainly prevalent, is not altogether authentic.
Real sangrita from the Lake Chapala region of Jalisco is made with Seville orange and pomegranate juices, with powdered chiles added for heat. Taking into account that even the most cocktailian bartender (professional or otherwise) doesn’t typically stock sour oranges or pomegranate juice behind the bar, I’ve worked up a recipe that should approximate the flavor of this spicy little sour orange and pomegranate chaser while still providing an authentic experience.
This is far from the final word on sangrita. I’ll still continue to enjoy the tomato varieties (1,2,3), but I think you’ll find a brightness and depth of flavor from this version that plays better with a wider variety of mezcals and tequilas than its heavier gringo cousin.
What’s your experience with sangrita? Chime in with your stories and recipes in the comments section.
Sangrita Print Me
- 1 oz/30 ml orange juice (freshly-squeezed)
- ¾ oz/22.5 ml - 1 oz/30 ml lime juice (depending on the sweetness of your oranges)
- ½ oz/15 ml real pomegranate grenadine
- 3 dashes hot sauce or ¼ tsp pasilla chili powder
- Mix ingredients, chill, and serve.
Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com