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Updated May, 2011

Sangrita: Tequila's Co-sip


Sangrita and tequilaSangrita ("little blood") is a spicy, non-alcoholic Mexican drink served as a chaser, a co-sip or as a mix. The traditional method is to alternate sips of tequila with sangrita, but it is sometimes mixed with the tequila and served in a single glass.  A tequila-and-sangrita serving is called a 'completo'. Sangrita was born in the same state as tequila: Jalisco.


angritaThere is no absolute or even widely-agreed-upon recipe for sangrita, but almost all versions contain tomato juice and orange juice in roughly equal amounts, with additional lime or lemon juice (or concentrate, but NEVER lime cordial) to make it more tart and give a sharp tang.


The best recipes use fresh ingredients (peel and seed the tomatoes, then blend). The final result tastes a little like a Bloody Caesar, or a spicy gazpacho, but with much more character.


Tapatia SangritaGenerally sangrita is served with blanco tequila, but it can also accompany reposado.


Some recipes add these ingredients in various quantities according to taste and volume:


  • Fresh blended tomatoes or tomato juice,
  • Orange or grapefruit juice,
  • Pureed sweet onion,
  • A dash of Tabasco or other fragrant hot sauce (cayenne powder will work in a pinch, but Tabasco is excellent because good sangrita should be spicy),
  • A dash of Worcestershire sauce,
  • A dash of A1 or Maggi sauce,
  • A dash of grenadine or pinch of sugar,
  • Celery salt,
  • Fresh-ground black pepper


My recipe:

  • Blend several pounds of fresh tomatoes, enough to fill 2 blenders with juice
  • Blend in 1 can frozen unsweetened orange juice into ½ of the tomato juice
  • Blend in 1 can frozen unsweetened grapefruit juice into the other half
  • Blend halves together (juice should be roughly half tomato, half citrus juice)
  • Add dash of A1, Maggi or Worcestershire sauce
  • Add a little grenadine or agave nectar
  • Sprinkle with ground pepper and stir in
  • Add 1/2 to 1 pureed sweet (Vidalia or similar) onion
  • Add lime juice to sharpen the tang.
  • Add hot sauce to taste (lots)

Viuda de Sanchez bottled sangritaMy recipe has the consistency of gazpacho. At Coconuts restaurant in Zihuatanejo, the bartender used clam juice in his mix. We substitute clamato juice, but it's not very thick, so we also use V8 or another thick tomato juice to give it texture. However, both of these add unnecessary salt to the sangrita.


If you can't find Maggi sauce, you can substitute equal parts dark soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce or Thai sweet soy sauce or mushroom soy sauce.


Here's one recipe:

  • 1 litre of tomato juice
  • 1/4 litre of fresh orange juice
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 2 table spoons of Maggi sauce
  • 2 table spoons of Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 table spoon of Tabasco
  • 2 table spoons of grenadine (optional, will make it sweet)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

Shake well, refrigerate


Another recipe:

  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons grenadine
  • Chile powder to taste

Sangrita RealBlend well together and serve with a shot of tequila.


And another:

  • 2 cups of Tomato Juice
  • 1 cup of Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup of Lime Juice
  • 2 teaspoons of Tabasco Hot Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Minced Onion
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Celery Salt
  • Seasoned Salt

Shake ingredients together, strain, chill, and serve.


Here's one from Drink of the Week:


  • 1 Lt. Tomato juice
  • ½ Lt. Fresh Orange Juice
  • 250 ml. Fresh Lemon Juice.
  • 30 ml. Spicy sauce Valentina
  • 20 ml. Worchester sauce
  • 30 ml. Grenadine Syrup
  • 20 ml. Season sauce (Maggi)
  • 20 ml. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Little tablespoon of salt
  • 250 ml. Grapefruit soda. 

Here's a recipe for sangrita without the tomato juice, but using pomegranate juice:

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

You can also buy bottled sangrita mix at almost every liquor store in Mexico. It is made by a dozen or more companies including Viuda de Sanchez, El Jimador, Sauza and others. But it is not as good as fresh, homemade sangrita. It's easy and rewarding to make your own and another interesting way to enjoy tequila.


You can also use it to cook with, and it makes a good stand-alone juice - almost like gazpacho.


Here's a recipe for Sangrita Casada (house sangrita) from Married With Dinner.
Makes four shots.


  • 4 oz. tomato juice
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 4 tsp. pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 6-8 healthy dashes Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a glass container, and chill well in the refrigerator. When thoroughly chilled, divide into 4 shot glasses, and serve alongside 4 shots of good-quality gold tequila, preferably reposado. Sip… first the tequila, then the sangrita.




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