This weeks post comes from my partner in crime and troubadour Josh del Rio. Josh came to me with this delicious duo to ring in the new year. Skeptical we knocked back my favorite tequila and chased it with this surprising concoction, Sangrita. The tangy and sweet chaser completely neutralizes the harsh alcohol on your palette creating and ultimately lethal but delicious combination. We recommend this recipe for your next celebration! Cheers!!!
BY JOSH DEL RIO In my experiences as a casual, at times hardcore drinker, I’ve never called myself a true tequila fan. Sure, I’ve had the occasional $10 Margarita pitcher, I’ve taken the salt/tequila/llime shot more times than I’d like to admit, and I’ve even enjoyed the acclaimed Patron Anejo on the rocks, although it did take a quite the bite out of my wallet. Despite trying all these fancy faces of tequila, I’ve always found myself going back to the comforts of rum, gin, and especially my beloved bourbon.
That is until I found the perfect complement to tequila’s unique taste: sangrita. Sangrita is the traditional partner to a shot of straight tequila. Its origins take root in the southwestern Mexican state of Jalisco, home of mariachi and tequila. Introduced in the 1920’s, sangrita, meaning “little blood”, was made from the remnant juices of pico de gallo.
Now I came by sangrita in the heart of Fishtown, sitting on a bar stool in Loco Pez. A friend and I were just finished stuffing our faces on a la carte tacos when he asks me to take a shot of tequila with him. I was hesitant, and perhaps it showed for the bartender poured the liquor, but also poured this red liquid in accompanying pony shots. The barkeep explained what it was, sangrita, the customary accompaniment to straight tequila. Said that it was tomato based, infused with pomegranate juice, lime and hot sauce.
Sounds interesting. I’m not one to knock anything before I try it, so the glasses went up, clinked together, and found themselves emptied of their spicy, citrusy contents. I remember waiting for my whiskey face to distort my facial features, but it didn’t happen. Instead a grinch-sized smile stretched across my face. The experience was smooth and savory, and it left me warm with the residual heat of both liquor and hot sauce. I was amazed! Finally, something that can let me appreciate the subtle complexity of tequila. I was sold. And I had an idea.