Before lunch today we enjoyed a nice relaxing drink. It was a takeoff on a regular screwdriver, normally simply vodka and orange juice. The temperature was very hot in the house and I did not feel like having something too sweet like a huge glass of fresh fruit juice. I decided to first prepare “agua de frutas” a typical Mexican drink that literally translates to “fruit water”. It is normally made with many different types of fruits namely pineapple or guayaba or orange or lime or even hibiscus flowers (jamaica). The fruits are normally juices or “blenderized”, and a large jar is filled about one third full with the juice. A bit of sugar is added for flavor and to cut the acidity or tartness depending on the fruit and water is added to fill the jar. This makes a light refreshing water that is drunk with the meal.
I did press some of the citrus fruits I collected this morning from our trees and then added a bit of fructose and filled the jar with water. To make the drink I put ice cubes in a tall glass, a healthy shot of vodka, and filled the glass with the citrus fruit water. It make a nice tart refreshing drink that helped us cool down. I am glad that the fruit bowl is still mostly full and that the trees outside are loaded with a lot more fruits. I think that since the hot season is starting we will enjoy this nice refreshing drink regularly.
Yesterday we were entertaining some friends and people were in the mood for tequila. The traditional way of serving it is with some sangrita, a spicy tomato-based drink that is served on the side. Normally you serve a shotglass of tequila, called a caballito, with a second caballito of sangrita. A small plate of limes cut in half and seeded is also normal. I have never seen the locals go through the ritual of putting lime in the fold of their thumbs with a bit of salt and sucking this before drinking the tequila. The only people you normally see doing that are tourists. Most people either drink their tequila straight, or squeeze half a lime in it, and maybe add just a little bit of salt. I also see some people biting into the half lime and sucking the juice, then drinking the tequila, but it rarer than just squeezing lime juice in it.
I used to prefer my tequila, normally a decent ‘reposado’, meaning rested, a tequila that is aged. or rested, in wooden tanks for at least 2 months up to about a year. Those tequilas lose their white color and take a nice golden hue, and they are normally much smoother to drink than white tequila. If they are aged longer than a year, they can then be called ‘añejo’, the smoothest of the tequilas that I normally prefer as an after dinner drink. I recently tried a few times my tequila on the rocks in a scotch glass with the juice of a lime in it and find it both very refreshing and very smooth going down. I like it a lot like that when I am in the mood for it.
Usually the sangrita, literally little blood, is served with tequila before a meal. In restaurants they can be pretty uneven depending if they make their own, or buy the commercial stuff. I tend to never buy any as I find the commercial sangrita very expensive, about the same price of a similar sized bottle of vodka locally, and normally the taste is too sweet and not spicy enough. Since we were having people over I decided to experiment a bit and I created a very simple recipe that turned out both better than the commercial ones, and most importantly about 4-5 times less expensive. It takes only a minute to mix the ingredients to taste, and you then serve your guests a caballito of tequila with a caballito of sangrita, a small plate with cut limes, and maybe a salt shaker if they are in the mood for that. You can put some lime in and/or salt in your tequila if you wish, and simply alternatively sip a bit of tequila followed by a sip of sangrita. A great way to spend a lazy afternoon with friends…
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup orange juice
4 limes, juiced
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Spicy chile sauce to taste, I normally used a smooth one like the Bufalo Clasica
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large measuring jar, put all the ingredients and mix with a spoon