Drink of the Week: Vampiro

Halloween night deserves a good red cocktail that looks like blood in a glass. While paging through Simon Difford’s Cocktails Made Easy, I came upon just the drink: a Vampiro (Spanish for ‘vampire’). Evidently this tequila version of a Bloody Mary is Mexico’s national drink (further proof that Mexico is awesome!).

This blood-red drink is just what the Count ordered.

The Vampiro, a blood-red drink, is just right for Halloween.

The good news is it doesn’t taste like blood but — as with all tequila drinks that include lime — like a spicy twist on a margarita, with a hint of tomato juice that’s  lovely with the lime and orange. I particularly like its spice factor, and even rimmed my glass with celery salt to enhance the drink’s savoury flavour. Not too sweet, not too strong and perfectly red — just what Dracula ordered.

Go ahead -- drain that glass.

Go ahead — drain that glass.


  • 2 oz Don Julio reposado tequila
  • 1 oz pressed tomato juice (I actually used a lemon press to juice a tomato. I then fine-strained the juice to remove the seeds and some pulp.)
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz grenadine syrup (while I think it would taste better with plain simple syrup, the grenadine enhances the colour)
  • 7 drops hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • 1 pinch celery salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
  • Lime round garnish

Rim an old-fashioned or rocks glass with celery salt, then fill with ice. Shake all ingredients together with ice and then strain into the glass. Garnish with a lime round.

— Recipe adapted from Cocktails Made Easy


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