It’s that time of year! The long-awaited and much hyped-up opportunity to indulge in a little mandatory cheerfulness accentuated by religious undertones, social pressure, family gatherings, reckless consumerism, and Mariah Carey. It’s a time that many of us detest and dread, but thankfully there exists a magical tonic that eases the soul’s burden in trying situations: ALCOHOL.
But rather than simply dull the pain of the holidays with sickly-sweet classics like eggnog, mulled wine or Baileys (though those are all good too), why not set the world on fire with a tongue-toasting classic German shot that has a slightly racist-sounding name and is easy to make by yourself at home?
Although it doesn’t sound very German, Mexikaner—”Mexican”—is a spicy vodka-based shot originally from Hamburg. It was supposedly invented in a hard rock pub called Steppenwolf, and over the years it has obtained a kind of cult status in St. Pauli and beyond, with every bartender having a secret recipe locked away safely in the back of their mind. It’s easy to replicate, or at least imitate, and the tradition of the mighty Mexikaner has spread across the country to make it a favourite shot at bars and clubs, parties and festivals.
The flavour of a good Mexikaner is up to the maker, but for me it should be fucking spicy: a shot of Scoville adrenaline to jolt you into the present if you’re feeling a bit sleepy, when you’re hungover, or on the third day of a festival when your brain is telling you to go home. It’s like a Bloody Mary on steroids: the elixir of life. Just the kind of thing to perk up the family after a big Christmas dinner, or elicit some easy laughs by forcing it on the one poor family member who can’t handle spicy stuff.
A classic German Mexican tends to have a good kick and be a little bit sweet, but is not as spiced as a Bloody Mary. There are a lot of recipes online for Mexikaner, and most include vodka or korn (a ridiculously cheap, clear German spirit), tomato juice, Sangrita, Tabasco sauce, and salt and pepper. Some recipes I found even include additions like orange juice. This drink is your oyster and you can put whatever you like inside, but this is my Mexikaner recipe for those who like a little slow-burning fire. Two litres should be enough to smoulder a medium-sized family and still have plenty left for New Years Eve.
Fucking hot Mexikaner shot
Makes about 2 litres
1 litre Tomato juice
700ml Vodka (nothing too fancy, nothing too cheap)
350ml Sangrita/Taki Taki
Salt & pepper to taste
Tabasco to taste
WTF is Sangrita?! Sangrita and Taki Taki are brands of pre-made mixes for Mexikaner, like buying a Bloody Mary mix. Of course nobody wants to buy something like this, because it’s cheaper and better to just make it at home on your own.
250ml~ Spicy or regular tomato juice
3 tsp Stinger sauce (or other favourite hot sauce superior to Tabasco)
70g Tomato paste
2 tsp Bhut jolokia flakes (or cayenne if you’re a pussy)
3 tsp sugar
Salt & Worcestershire sauce to taste
- Make the Sangrita. Juice the limes and grind the chili flakes finely with a mortar and pestle (don’t breath!), then combine all the ingredients in a container with measurement on the side. You want a final product of about 350ml, so more or less tomato juice may be required. Using a blender or hand mixer will improve the consistency, but it isn’t necessary. Remember, this should be concentrated flavour that you’re going to use to adulterate boring stuff like tomato juice and vodka, so make it powerful. The consistency should be a bit thick.
- Let the Sangrita sit refrigerated for at least an hour.
- After one hour, combine the remaining tomato juice and bottle of vodka in a pot or other container that can hold more than 2 litres of liquid. Gradually add the Sangrita mix, making sure you mix thoroughly as to not leave all the good stuff sitting at the bottom when you bottle. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more hot sauce if it needs a bit more kick (I use 50ml in total). Remember that the flavour will become more intense the longer it sits.
- Bottle your beautiful Mexikaner in clean, resealable vessels and let it sit for a few hours, preferably overnight.
What’s your favourite shot?! Let us know in the comments