Vampiro Drink

5 from 1 vote

The Vampiro drink is a tequila cocktail with a bite. Made with sangrita and soda, this sweet, tomato-based cocktail has a hint of spice.

Two Vampiro drinks with limes and peppers on a tray.

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Vampiro cocktail recipe

Cocktails have the best names. There’s the Painkiller. The Grasshopper. The Hurricane. Naming cocktails must be as fun as naming paint colors and nail polish hues — my dream job, honestly.

And then there’s the Vampiro. This bubbly, blood-red cocktail with a bite of tequila contains a tomato mixture called sangrita. It’s typically served as a chaser for tequila, but it also makes a great cocktail mixer.

This tomato cocktail is perfect for a number of occasions: Halloween, summertime, brunch, happy hour, Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo and game day.

More Halloween recipes: Devil’s MargaritaVodka Gummy WormsBoozy Butterbeer

Two glasses of Vampiro Drink with limes and peppers.

Why you’ll love this recipe

You are going to adore this sangrita cocktail recipe:

  • This recipe is super simple to make with fresh, easy-to-find ingredients.
  • You’ll love the flavor — this cocktail tastes a little savory, a little sweet and a little spicy.
  • It’s a fun alternative to the Bloody Mary cocktail.

Serve this refreshing Mexican cocktail as a bloody, spooky cocktail at a Halloween party or instead of a Bloody Mary at brunch or a margarita on Taco Tuesday.

Two glasses of bloody mary with Sangrita and lime wedges.

What is sangrita?

Sangrita is a savory drink from Mexico that’s made from tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, peppers and sometimes pomegranate juice. It is sweeter than Bloody Mary mix, and is designed to complement the tart, peppery notes in blanco tequila. 

Sangrita translates to “little blood” in Spanish due to its red color.

Historically it was made in the Mexican region of Jalisco. It’s speculated it originated by drinking the juices left behind by pico de gallo but it can be made in larger batches with fresh juices.

According to the drink writer Jeffrey Morganthaler, the original version from the Lake Chapala region of Jalisco is made with Seville orange juice, pomegranate juice and powdered chiles for heat. Grenadine is sometimes used in place of pomegranate juice.

Sangrita is also used to make the Mexican Vampiro cocktail, or Vampiros Mexicanos, a drink prepared with fruit juice, spices, fruit soda, lime juice and tequila.

A Vampiro Drink with jalapeno, lime and salt.

Tools & glassware

If you are making your own sangrita at home, you’ll need a few basic tools:

  • pitcher or mixing bowl and a long spoon for mixing
  • sharp knife and a cutting board for the peppers
  • juicer or citrus squeezer

And then, to make the vampiro drink, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a rocks glass and a small plate for adding the rim salt.

Vampiro ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:

  • sangrita (more on this below!)
  • tequila blanco or tequila reposado
  • lemon-lime soda or grapefruit soda 
  • fresh lime juice
  • lime wedge or lime slice for garnish
  • jalapeño pepper for garnish

You’ll also want to put something on the rim of the glass. I used chili-lime seasoning like Tajín. You could also use margarita salt or Bloody Mary salt or whatever you have on hand!

Hot sauce ingredients on a white background, including sangrita.

Sangrita ingredients

To make your own sangrita mix, you’ll need:

  • tomato juice
  • orange juice
  • lime juice
  • hot sauce
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • jalapeño or ancho chile pepper

You can also make a shortcut version with two parts tomato juice and one part each orange juice and lime juice.

How to make Sangrita

Before making a vampiro drink, you must make the sangrita mixer first. Here’s how to do it:

A person pouring Sangrita into a measuring cup.
A person pouring sangrita into a glass measuring cup.

In a pitcher or mixing bowl, combine tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir together.

Halve the pepper. Leave the seeds in if you like some spice.

A person pouring tomato sauce into a measuring cup to make sangrita.
A glass bowl filled with tomato juice and Sangrita.

Add the pepper halves with seeds and leave them in for 15-30 minutes, depending on how spicy you’d like it to be. You can do longer if you like.

With a slotted spoon, remove the pepper halves and seeds.

Then, refrigerate until ready to drink or serve immediately over ice or in a vampiro cocktail.

How to make a Vampiro cocktail

Once you have homemade sangrita, making a vampiro drink is super simple. Here’s what to do:

A person pouring a Vampiro drink into a margarita glass.
Two Vampiro drinks with limes on a table.
  1. Place chili-lime seasoning on a plate. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of the glass. Roll the rim of the glasses in the salt to coat the rim.
  2. Add sangrita, tequila and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass or other cocktail glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with lemon-lime soda and add another sprinkle of chili-lime seasoning.
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge and the top half of a cut jalapeño pepper.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this cocktail recipe:

  • Make the sangrita ahead of time and refrigerate it so the flavors can continue to meld together.
  • Use a flavorful salt on the rim, such as Tajín or Bloody Mary salt.
  • Be sure your lemon-lime soda is refrigerated ahead of time. This allows for better carbonation and won’t change the drink’s temperature.
  • Add a splash of hot sauce to give this vampire cocktail even more bite. 
Three Vampiro drinks with limes and garnishes on a table.

What to serve with a Vampiro drink

If serving Vampiro drinks for Halloween, consider these jalapeño popper mummies with chorizo — they would be a cute appetizer with a kick. This Halloween taco dip topped with homemade guacamole would go well too.

For happy hour, a big bowl of chips and queso fundido or pineapple salsa would be the ideal appetizer.

A Vampiro Drink in a gold rimmed glass.

FAQ

What is in a vampiro drink?

The vampiro is a tequila cocktail with sangrita, lemon-lime soda and lime juice. Sangrita is made with tomato juice, lime juice and orange juice, plus salt and spice from peppers.

What is sangrita?

Sangrita is a drink that is typically enjoyed as a chaser to tequila. It can also be mixed into cocktails. Sangrita typically contains tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper, plus an infusion of jalapeño or ancho chile pepper.

More tomato juice drinks

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Two Vampiro drinks with limes and peppers on a tray.

Vampiro Drink

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
The Vampiro Drink is a cocktail with a bite! This effervescent Mexican tequila cocktail is sweet, salty, savory and spicy all at once.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

Vampiro cocktail

  • 3 ounces sangrita see note
  • 1 ½ ounce tequila
  • 1 ½ ounce lemon-lime soda
  • ½ ounce lime juice from about half a lime
  • pinch of chili-lime seasoning plus more for the rim

Sangrita

  • 6 ounces tomato juice
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1-2 dashes hot sauce to taste
  • Pinch salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 jalapeño or ancho chile pepper halved with seeds left in

instructions

Sangrita

  • In a mixing bowl, combine tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir together.
  • Add the pepper halves with seeds and leave them in for 15-30 minutes, depending on how spicy you’d like it to be.
  • Remove the pepper halves.
  • Decant into a pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to drink or serve immediately over ice.

Vampiro drink

  • Place chili-lime seasoning. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of the glass. Roll the rim of the glasses in the salt to coat the rim.
  • Add sangrita, tequila and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Top with lemon-lime soda and add another sprinkle of chili-lime seasoning.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge and the top half of a cut jalapeño pepper.

notes

If you do not wish to create sangrita from scratch, you can make a substitute mixture of two parts tomato juice and one part each orange juice and lime juice. For one cocktail, shake up 1 ½ ounce tomato juice, ¾ ounce grapefruit juice and ¾ ounce orange juice. 

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nutrition information

Yield: 1

amount per serving:

Serving: 6.5oz Calories: 134kcal Carbohydrates: 9g Protein: 1g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.01g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 14mg Potassium: 215mg Fiber: 0.4g Sugar: 8g Vitamin A: 439IU Vitamin C: 20mg Calcium: 12mg Iron: 0.4mg
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