Salsa Borracha


We first began making Salsa Borracha, or “drunken salsa,” for our Casa Cóctel bar we owned and operated in Mexico. Customers often purchased extra to take home. Jars of it also make great gifts.

Some stores in the US sell ancho and pasilla as the same thing. Ancho is really dried poblano. In Mexico, pasilla is usually the dried version of a long, narrow pepper called calavaca.

With our family connection to the state of true cotija cheese—Michoacán—we often use this parmesan-like grated queso as an addition of dairy to offset the heat of the chiles. Real cotija cheese is often hard to find in the US, so you can substitute tipo cotija made elsewhere or use a grated real parmigiano reggiano or other harder, aged, salty cheese.

The earthy, aged tequila balances nicely with the citrus acidity and mild, peppery heat.

Serve with chips, tacos, or as a flavoring for red meats.

  • 4 Ancho dried chiles
  • 4 Pasilla dried chiles
  • 1 Medium white onion
  • 1 Large clove of garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces Freshly squeezed Orange Juice, about 3 oranges
  • ½ cup 100% agave Reposado Tequila (such as NY International Spirits Competition 2013 medalist Sauza Tres Generaciones)
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Grated Cotija cheese
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

Slightly toast the chiles about 1 minute on each side. With gloves, remove the stems, veins and seeds from the chiles, and tear into small pieces. Brown onion in same pan as toasted chiles, then add garlic, quickly stirring and removing all from pan so as not to burn the garlic. Add onions and garlic with chiles, orange juice, Tequila and olive oil to blender. Purée. Add back to pan and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Many folks add the crumbled cheese as a topping to the salsa. We often stir it all together.