As I’ve mentioned before, summer around here means tequila. It also means being so insanely busy I forgot to post last week, but we’re here to talk about booze. Tequila was the first spirit that I became enamored of, mostly because it’s so prevalent here that I had to find a way to like something besides Cuervo or live a margarita-less life. One good bottle of Tequila Romance and I was sold—and there have been many, many excellent bottles since.
As with whiskey or scotch or cognac, good tequila should be sipped and savored. There are an amazing array of flavors that develop from our friend the agave and you miss all of that if you’re just slugging it down on your way to drunk dialing three of your exes.
In central and southern Mexico, particularly in Jalisco, tequila is traditionally sipped alongside a non-alcoholic juice-and-spice mixture called sangrita. The spiciness and acid of sangrita temper the fiery qualities of the tequila and balance out some of the rough edges, particularly if you’re drinking a blanco or reposado, which are younger and less refined than most añejos. Aside from that, the name shares the same root as sangre and I’m just morbid and weird enough to find that sort of thing interesting while I’m drinking.
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp finely chopped onion
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp Maggi seasoning
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup orange juice
salt and black pepper to taste
1½ oz tequila (the kind you sip, not Sauza or Cuervo!)
Combine lime juice, onion, hot sauce, Maggi and spices in a blender; blend until smooth. Mix tomato and orange juices with blended mix in a pitcher. Stir to combine and chill. Stir well before serving.
To serve: Pour sangrita into small glasses and tequila into shot glasses. Alternate sips of tequila and sangrita. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
This recipe came from Imbibe, because it’s a cool magazine that features little tidbits like this. We tweaked our version a little bit as we went along, substituting Maggi seasoning for Worchestershire, and we put in closer to ½ cup of lime juice to balance out the acidity (we added the extra at the end, after tasting, of course). The savoriness of this recipe balances out a peppery tequila very well (we were sipping our house tequila, Corralejo reposado), as it doesn’t smother the aftertaste under a blanket of tomato juice. Chase it all with a nice cold cerveza and you have the makings of an excellent afternoon.