It's difficult to improve on the patron saint of brunch boozing, the bloody mary. But throughout the Mexican high country, there's a mythical beverage made and enjoyed that gives bloodies a run for their money. Enter: the Sangrita. Whereas the bloody mary is big, ostentatious, ingredient-soaked, and highly indulgent (anyone game for a bacon cheeseburger bloody mary?), the sangrita is a straightforward tequila chaser that keeps its ingredient list restrained and its flavor profile strong.
First introduced in the 1920s as a shot meant to go with tequila blanco, sangrita provided a palate-cleansing, acidic goodness that paired well with the spirit. For years, sangrita wasn't much of a beverage outside of its birthplace in Jalisco, Mexico. But as tequila's popularity spread, so too did sangrita.
Antonio Rodriguez, production manager for Patrón, grew up surrounded by home-made sangrita. "Nothing compares to homemade sangrita," he says. "There are no preservatives, only a few ingredients, and it only lasts a week."
But what makes sangrita give a bloody mary a serious run for its brunch money is its straightforwardness. Beyond the tequila it features—Rodriguez uses Patrón Citrónge Mango and Patrón Silver, naturally—a true sangrita recipe features only Seville orange, lime, and pomegranate juices, with a bit of chili powder (or hot sauce) added for heat. So, despite having a nice red hue (and a flavor profile that's pretty darn similar to a bloody Mary, there's absolutely no tomato in a true sangrita recipe.
Conclusion: If you have a friend who has an inexplicable aversion to tomatoes (because we all have one), show her this recipe—a spin on the traditional sangrita that goes perfect with long, luxurious weekend breakfasts.
Pour the mango and blanco tequilas into a shaker. Top off your alcohol with OJ.
Add habanero bitters—spicy!
Add ice, and give it a shake.
Pour into a high ball glass... or a mug if you're at work, no judgements.
Top with seltzer, and don't forget the mango chile salt.