On a recent trip to discover some of the best restaurants in Mexico City, I ate at Quintonil, a small, understated restaurant in Polanco. Chef/Owner Jorge Vallejo, formerly of Pujol, oversees the kitchen, and his food is nothing short of sensational.
However, before I had eaten a thing, I experienced tequila the way it should be consumed — with a shot of sangrita on the side.
Sangrita is a non-alcoholic concoction, blood red in color, which dates back to the 1920s in Jalisco. Traditionally it is made with Seville orange, lime and pomegranate juices with chili powder and hot sauce, though recently tomato juice has been added as an option. The two are sipped together as the sangrita cleanses the palate between each peppery sip of tequila.
On this occasion (and yes, someone has to do this!) we were drinking Don Julio 70.