Vampiro

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Cocktail History

The Vampiro is a classic tequila cocktail that is credited to fruit stand vendor Oscar Hernández of San Luis Soyatlán, Mexico. It is believed to have been named as such because its color is reminiscent of blood. Although several variations of the drink exist, this common one included in Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail by Emma Stokes is made with tomato juice, making it similar in taste and appearance to a Bloody Mary. Its uniqueness, however, comes from its agave base along with the added citrus juices that bring a touch of tang to the tomato-forward flavor.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Tequila Reposado: This is the other base spirit. It lends more agave flavor without as much smokiness. We used Arette Reposado because it’s light and peppery and it’s affordable.

Tomato Juice: This thickens the drink and adds tomato flavor. We used tomato juice from our local grocery store.

Orange Juice: This adds sweet citrus flavor for balance. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Lime Juice: This adds sour citrus flavor. Again, we prefer to use fresh lime juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Grenadine: This adds tart pomegranate flavor and sweetens the drink. We made ours using Alex’s homemade recipe.

Hot Sauce: This adds spicy flavor. We used Tabasco Hot Sauce for its classic pepper flavor.

Salt: This adds savory flavor.

Black Pepper: This adds pepper flavor.

Lime Slice: This is the garnish. It adds fresh lime aroma.

Tasting Notes

The Vampiro begins with citrus and slight pepper aromas before leading into the savory, spicy taste of the tomato, which is then backed by sweetness and citrus to balance it out followed by the noticeable flavors of tequila and orange in the aftertaste.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both thought this cocktail was incredibly unique considering the only other tomato-based recipe we’ve tried is a Bloody Mary. It’s certainly similar to one of those, but it’s also different enough to cause its own cravings. If you want something in the realm of a Bloody but with a bit more complexity, this one’s worth trying. 

Alex’s Take: “I consider this drink is a unique combination of a Bloody Mary and a Margarita because it uses tomato juice (or in our case Bloody Mary mix) and other seasonings along with tequila and citrus. The result is a drink that is savory and spicy on the lips and tongue but has a definite sour note to balance it back out. And it has the taste of tequila throughout. As far as tomato-based cocktails go, it’s the most fascinating one I’ve ever had; I’m not sure I’d turn to it over a standard Bloody Mary, but it is definitely a great way to mix it up and experience some regional flair.”

Kendall’s Take: “I have to admit, I think I liked this tomato-based drink more than a traditional Bloody Mary. Usually when I drink those, I feel as if I’m just sipping soup, but the citrus was a welcome addition. This is much more complex than a Bloody Mary, and it has a hint of heat which I really liked. I’d make the Vampiro again if I was in the mood for a Bloody Mary but wanted something slightly different.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail by Emma Stokes.

AuthorHave Yourself a Merry Little CocktailPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Tequila Reposado
 1 oz Tomato Juice
 1 oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Grenadine
 5 drops Hot Sauce
 1 pinch Salt
 1 pinch Black Pepper
 1 Lime Slice

Method
1

Add tequila, tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh ice.

4

Garnish with lime slice.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Tequila Reposado
 1 oz Tomato Juice
 1 oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Grenadine
 5 drops Hot Sauce
 1 pinch Salt
 1 pinch Black Pepper
 1 Lime Slice

Directions

Method
1

Add tequila, tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh ice.

4

Garnish with lime slice.

Vampiro

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More Halloween Cocktails

If you like this Halloween-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Empress Corpse Reviver No. 2: A purple gin cocktail made with triple sec, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, absinthe, and an orange twist

Butterbeer (Harry Potter): A stout beer and spiced rum cocktail made with evaporated milk, butter, margarine, vanilla extract, brown sugar, whole cloves, whole allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, whipped cream, and nutmeg

End of the Line (The Falcon & The Winter Soldier): A gin cocktail made with orange curaçao, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, rosemary, grapefruit, and peppercorn bitters, beer, and an orange wheel

The Last Variant (Loki): An aquavit cocktail made with honey liqueur, Green Chartreuse, and lime juice

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