If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic chaser to tequila, the traditional Sangrita may just be the right choice. Here’s what you need to know about this interesting drink’s history, the ingredients that go into it, and even how to make your own.
About & History
The Sangrita is a traditional Mexican drink with a rich history that dates back to the 1920s. Although some people may confuse Sangrita with sangria, the two are very different: while sangria is a wine-based drink, Sangrita is completely non-alcoholic.
The name, Sangrita, means “little blood” in Spanish and earned its fame in Jalisco, Mexico. Here, bartenders used the leftover citrus juices from pico de gallo as well as powdered chiles and spices to make Sangrita, and it usually accompanied a shot of tequila.
The citrus juices of Sangrita pair well with the naturally fruity flavors of tequila, and while it may have originated in Mexico, Sangrita has made its way across the continent.
Since it’s migrated to the United States, drinkers have begun experimenting with Sangrita even more – most American Sangrita drinks now include a mixture of tomato juice for a more savory flavor profile.
If you’re looking for Sangrita recipes online, it’s not unusual to see American recipes that include the tomato juice, while Mexican recipes forfeit it.
Whether you’re looking to make the traditional Sangrita or the American version, here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it happen:
For the Mexican version of Sangrita, you’ll need these basic ingredients:
- Fresh grapefruit juice (8 ounces)
- Fresh orange juice (2 ounces)
- A bottle of your choice of hot sauce
- Fresh lime juice (4 ounces)
- A dash of salt
- A dash of ground black pepper
If you’re looking to make the American version, you’ll need a few extra ingredients:
- Fresh tomato juice (4 ounces)
- Fresh orange juice (4 ounces)
- Fresh lime juice (3 ounces)
- Medium white onion (¼ of the onion)
- Dried ancho chili (½ of the chili)
- Jalapeno (1 pepper cut in half)
- A stalk of celery (½ of the stalk)
- Medium cucumber (¼ of the cucumber)
- Maggi seasoning (½ teaspoon)
- A dash of salt
Directions to Make
Between the two, the traditional Sangrita is easier to make – but if you’re looking for a challenge, you may want to try the American version.
How to Make Traditional Sangrita
- Starting with your fresh grapefruit juice and orange juice, combine all the ingredients you’ve gathered. For the hot sauce, add 5 to 10 dashes or until you’re pleased with the spice level.
- Stir all the ingredients thoroughly.
How to Make American Sangrita
- Using a cast iron pan or a grill, roast your jalapeno, ancho chili, and your onion for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to char in the pan.
- Remove the jalapeno, ancho chili, and onion from the heat, and put them in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients, and then blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Let the Sangrita sit for about ten minutes, and then strain it carefully before serving.
Regardless of which type of Sangrita you make, be sure to combine it with your favorite type of tequila – and enjoy!