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If You Like Bloody Marys, Drink This

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We’re strong proponents of having a good home bar. Welcome to Cocktail Hour, where we’ll show you the best ways to put your liquor cabinet to use. This cocktail is brought to you by

Today: How to enjoy a shot of tequila gracefully.


The answer to a classier shot and chaser combo is sangrita. No, not sangria. That extra t isn't the only thing that distinguishes it from the fruit-infused, liqueur-drenched wine that’s easily identified by cubes of fruit bobbing up and down like buoys.

So what is it? Hailing from the Jalisco region of Mexico—coincidentally the home of many other culturally-significant Mexican traditions, like bull-riding and mariachi—sangrita is the longtime, traditional companion to a shot of tequila blanco. While there are many variations on what is considered authentic, you’ll almost always find in sangrita a mix of citrus (orange and lime), spice (chili powder), and tropical fruit. 


The layered complexity of sangrita is shocking if you don’t know what it's made of: By its looks and aroma, you’ve got a mini Bloody Mary mixer on your hands. But tasting it is a whole different experience. Tomato juice is a more recent addition, and is sometimes vilified for making an appearance. Truth be told, we like the body it offers to the drink, and real pomegranate grenadine gives it sweetness to balance all of its acid and pepper.  

It’s important to note that you don’t take a shot of tequila all at once and then chase it with an entire shot of sangrita; the two should be sipped alternately so they mingle with one another’s citrusy and peppery flavors. You can also easily scale this recipe up to accommodate larger gatherings—and we wouldn't mind being invited to that party.

So, see you this weekend? We'll bring the tequila.

Sangrita and Tequila Shot

Serves 2

2 ounces tomato juice
1 ounce lime
1 ounce grenadine 
2 to 4 drops Tabasco hot sauce
2 shakes ground chipotle pepper
1 splash orange juice
3 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila

Get the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

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Tags: sangrita, tequila, citrus, grenadine, spice, cocktail