Story by Sam Bygrave
Photographs by Christopher Pearce
Presented by Sam Egerton, El Loco
In association with Olmeca Altos
The roots to Mexico’s Sangrita — and let’s not confuse it with Spain’s spiced wine, Sangria — are said to stem from the salads served up for lunch. You’d take the salad bowl, which had previously held papaya, pomegranate, peppers, citrus and pour the leftover liquid into a glass to sip as a chaser to your tequila. One sip tequila, one sip sangrita — this isn’t the bartender-style, slam ‘em back style of tequila drinking.
Most bartenders, if they’ve come across sangrita before, will know it as a tomato, citrus and chilli mix, and it’s true that the mix is a good one. But traditionally it seems sangrita had nothing to do with tomato, instead gaining its reddish hue from pomegranate and chilli.
Both styles work great as a complement to fine, 100 percent agave tequila (and particularly with blanco); but there’s also another way: verdita.
Here’s a drink that works regardless of the seasons: El Loco’s Jalapeño Margarita. There’s always time for tequila, if you ask us, and here we’ve got the specs for this popular drink from El Loco in Surry Hills.
Verde is the Spanish word for green, and green is what you get with this take on sangrita: lime, pineapple, mint and a good whack of coriander (known as cilantro to los Americanos) blended together with some green jalapeño chilli.
This simple, easy to make recipe is one we’ve tweaked that hails from the old London tequila bar, Casita. The place is known to many a Shoreditcjh bartender, and so too would they know this verdita, having sipped on it at some point during one of their breaks.
We’ve thrown a healthy splash of blanco tequila into the mix, too. We say it’s because it will help preserve the verdita for a few days, but really it’s just because we want that pure agave flavour in there.
Simple Verdita recipe
- 90ml Olmeca Altos Plata
- 1 large bunch of coriander
- 1 bunch of mint
- 2 jalapeño chilles
- 1 litre of unsweetened, long life pineapple juice
1. Roughly chop the coriander and add it the blender.
2. Add the mint, stalks included, to the blender.
3. Add jalapeño chilli to
4. Pour one litre of pineapple juice into the blender.
5. Pour out a good splash of Olmeca Altos Plata and blend.
6. Strain the verdita.
7. Serve with Olmeca Altos Blanco.
Use within five days for ultimate freshness. Adapted from a recipe from the now closed Casita, Shoreditch, London.
Notes on ingredients
• Olmeca Altos is a 100% agave tequila exclusively produced in Los Altos, Jalisco, known for its unique microclimate and altitude (2,100m above sea level), ideal conditions for growing agave.
• They employ a distinctive tequila-making process using the 500 year old traditional tahona method, which consists of crushing the agaves with a volcanic stone giving the tequila
a richer flavour.
• Olmeca Altos is a brand created by bartenders for bartenders in 2009 by Master Distiller Jesús Hernández in collaboration with two world-class bartenders, Henry Besant and Dre Masso.
*Notes from supplier