I was going to write this up for Mixology Monday this month, but I’m not sure it qualifies. This month’s theme is shooters, and to be honest, that just doesn’t really appeal to me. I’ve done shots too many times in my life, but I’ve never really enjoyed them. If I’m going to shoot back booze in one gulp, I’d rather knock back some whiskey than a shooter.

So I didn’t know what to write up. My wife recommended sangrita, but that tends to be sipped alongside tequila. Rick’s criteria (in the comments here) indicate that a shooter is anything you gulp back in one shot. We didn’t do that with the sangrita or the tequila, so I don’t think we qualify. But because I love you, my sangrita recipe follows the photo and the jump.

Tequila and sangrita

photo by Jennifer Hess

Sangrita is a traditional Mexican chaser for tequila, and there appears to be some dispute over the ingredients. Some say it’s citrus sweetened with grenadine and punched up with either salsa or dried chilies. Other people go crazy and puree up onions and peppers and garlic and whatnot. Still others insist that no sangrita should include tomato juice, whereas others are more lenient as long as you don’t use so much that it tastes like a Bloody Mary.

I wasn’t really sure where to turn, so I winged it. I figured equal parts tomato and citrus would definitely keep it from the Bloody Mary camp. What resulted was a blend so balanced and tasty that I want to keep a jug of it in the refrigerator for breakfasts and hangovers.

Note: I departed from the usual bitter orange because my wife is allergic to oranges.


makes approx. four 1½ servings

  • 2 oz. good-quality tomato juice (I used this)
  • 2 oz. fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1½ oz. homemade grenadine
  • 2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Technique: Stir until chipotle powder dissolves. Chill in fridge for four hours. Serve in chilled shot glasses alongside tequila. (I served Espolon Reposado.)


4 thoughts on “Sangrita

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