Whip up this Mexican-inspired spicy tomato-citrus juice during the dog days of summer, when tomatoes are abundant and in season. It’s a delicious nonalcoholic refreshment, but if you want to liven up the experience, add a dash of vodka or (as they often do in Mexico) a splash of tequila.
Mexican-Style Tomato Juice (Sangrita)
- Large fine-mesh sieve required
- Cheesecloth required
- 3 lbs Roma or plum tomatoes (15 to 20), 1.5 kg cut into chunks
- 1⁄2 to 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 250 mL
- 1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems 125 mL
- 1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 75 mL
- 1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 75 mL
- 2 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste 10 mL
- Agave nectar (optional)
- 1. Place sieve over a large bowl and line with 2 layers of dampened cheesecloth. In blender, in batches, purée tomatoes, jalapeño pepper to taste, orange juice, cilantro, lime juice and lemon juice until smooth. If necessary, add water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, to facilitate puréeing. Strain through sieve as completed and stir gently. When most of the liquid has passed through, lift the 4 corners of the cheesecloth and twist around tomato mixture to form a tight ball. Using your hands, squeeze remaining liquid into bowl. Discard solids.
- 2. Transfer liquid to a large pitcher. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours. Taste the mixture; if it is not sweet enough for you, add agave nectar (if using) to taste.
- Serve very cold, over ice if desired.
- Makes 6 cups (1.5L)
- Use a whole jalapeño pepper only if you are a true heat seeker. It creates a very spicy result.
- You can substitute another fresh Mexican pepper, such as serrano or habanero, for the jalapeño. If you are using a habanero, use only about one-quarter of a pepper.
Judith Finlayson https://judithfinlayson.com/