Whenever I drink tequila, I love to have it with a shot of sangrita on the side. The problem: You’ll only find sangrita on the menu at fancier Mexican restaurants and tequila bars. I presume most Mexican joints don’t sell it not because it’s hard to make but because most diners have no idea what it is, and would presume that someone misspelled “sangria” on the menu.
Sangrita, like pasta sauces and salsas, comes in infinite varieties and its recipe is often a closely-guarded secret by its creators. The recipe comes down to various citrus juices plus chiles or hot sauce. The inclusion of tomato juice is a hotly contested topic. Most sangritas that I’ve encountered include it — and I think it enhances the character of the drink. Either way, you consume it in alternate sips with your quality tequila, as they are each meant to enhance the experience of the other.
This lesson is a long way of telling you that Tequila Tamer is a bottled sangrita. Now any tequila enthusiast would tell you that the only way to go is to make your own sangrita from scratch, but I’ll be honest: Tequila Tamer is pretty good for a premixed sangrita. It’s heavy on citrus, light on the spice, and light on the tomato (although tomato juice is the first ingredient). It’s sweeter than most sangritas, probably due to the inclusion of pomegranate syrup instead of pomegranate juice, but my suspicion is that this allows the sangrita to keep from spoiling longer. It also makes it a little too berry-flavored for my liking, but on the whole it’ll do in a pinch.
B / $15 per 32 oz. bottle (with party tray and glasses shown above, $140)