Recipe: Jugo de Tomate Preparado
Mexico is home to a staggering diversity of food, and the variety of flavors that go into that food is nothing short of astonishing. If you’ve ever sat at a Mexican table, you know that lime juice goes on everything. Some other common seasonings might be a little more surprising, however. Mexican cooks find uses for Worcestershire sauce, for example, that would no doubt shock its British inventors. The best of Mexican cooking consists of using just a few simple ingredients and, through an alchemy of spices and seasoning, making their flavors pop.
At its simplest, this is the theory behind jugo de tomate preparado. Tomato juice, salty and enriching, serves as the base for this concoction typically consumed after a heavy night of drinking. Worcestershire, Magi, plenty of lime juice, Valentina (a hot sauce used with everything from popcorn to cucumbers, and only available in a true Mexican shop), and Tajín chili powder all come together to make it taste at once lighter and more complex. The result, served over ice, is both filling and rehydrating. A perfectly refreshing drink, it can also be a proud horse for alcohol—though unlike its Anglo cousin the Bloody Mary, it’s usually mixed with beer, not liquor.
Ingredients (makes two servings):
Store-bought tomato juice (4 cups)
Juice of 1-2 limes (depending on size)
Magi sauce (2 tsp)
Worcestershire Sauce (1.5tsp)
Valentina (to taste) Tabasco can also be used.
Tajín chili powder (to taste)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Combine the tomato juice, lime juice, Magi, and Worcestershire sauce in a pitcher. Add Valentina, salt, and pepper to taste, and garnish with Tajín and a slice of lime. You can also use additional Magi sauce in the place of salt to add flavor.
To make a michelada, halve the amount of tomato juice and add beer. A perfect summer drink, the official michelada uses a tomato juice called Clamato, which is spiced with clam juice. ❖