Independence Day (September 16) is Mexico’s most important non-religious celebration. After all, it took the country 11 years to achieve independence from Spain. We all know that war causes devastation in a country, and an 11-year war is way too long.
More than 200 years later, we still celebrate that most important day. In every Mexican city and town, politicians re-enact the original call for arms that Father Miguel Hidalgo made in the town of Dolores, in central Mexico. Flags, cheers, fireworks and a lot of national pride rule the day (and night).
Since Mexicans are a patriotic bunch, the celebrations for Independence are at the top of the list. The colours of the flag are everywhere, from food displays in grocery stores to storefront windows, to the food we make at home and in restaurants.
It is common to order a “Banderita” at the bar. Three shots make up this patriotic drink: lime juice, silver tequila and Sangrita, in that order from left to right, to mimic the colours of the flag. It is the perfect trio to celebrate la Independencia.
Well, we all know what lime juice and silver tequila are. But how about Sangrita? Sangrita is a chaser that is traditionally served alongside tequila. Many versions of it abound, and you can certainly buy commercial Sangrita, but nothing beats this recipe made at home. The best ones are always a mixture of orange, lime and tomato juices, but my version has a bit of fresh celery, Serrano chile, onion and cilantro in the mix. It is addictive and delicious, and can easily be enjoyed alone as a vegetable cocktail or spicy morning juice. I even mix it with beer to make a spicy drink that is both thirst-quenching and delicious. Salud!
Patriotic Tequila Cocktail
1 shot freshly squeezed lime juice
1 shot white or reposado tequila
1 shot sangrita (recipe follows)
2 cups V8 juice
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
5 tsp minced onion
5 tsp minced Serrano chile
5 tsp minced celery
3 Tbsp packed cilantro leaves
2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
Serve in 3 shot glasses and line them up in order from left to right: lime juice, tequila and sangrita. The colors mimic the Mexican flag.
Drink a sip of lime juice, then a bit of tequila and chase with sangrita.
Place all ingredients in blender container. Process until well combined, but not completely liquid, it should have a touch of texture. Serve sangrita cold in shot glasses.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups Sangrita
This recipe was first published at www.thelatinkitchen.com