Courtesy Alex Valencia, bartender/partner, La Contenta, New York City
A native of Jalisco, Mexico, Valencia now helms the bar at La Contenta where he shines a light on mezcal, Tequila, and lesser known Mexican spirits like raicilla and sotol.
“Growing up as a kid in Guadalajara, I remember my sister and me drinking sangritas when we were just 9 years old,” Valencia said. “My mom used to make these with grapefruit juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. This is the recipe I grew up on, and we never used tomato juice … Other families in different regions and states of Mexico had their own takes on the sangrita, some with grapefruit soda or lime juice.”
He adds, “In Mexico, there’s not a heavy cocktail culture so this mixture was created to compliment tequila.”
Valencia’s recipe focuses on simplicity and tartness to refresh the palate after each sip of Tequila.
- 8 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 ounces fresh orange juice
- 4 ounces fresh lime juice
- 5–10 dashes hot sauce (more or less to taste)
- Ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.