Drunken Serrano Salsa (Salsa Borracha)

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If you love bold Mexican flavors you’ll love this drunken serrano salsa (salsa borracha). This spicy, boozy salsa is loaded with fresh vegetables and goes well with a wide variety of dishes.

drunken serrano salsa (salsa borracha) in a bowl

My drunken serrano pepper salsa recipe is great for parties, taco nights, or as an everyday snack!

This salsa is great with tortilla chips, quesadillas, and burritos, but it can be can be enjoyed so many different ways! Serve it for breakfast with eggs, migas, or chilaquiles, or spoon it over steaks!

As a healthy alternative to tortilla chips, you can dip carrots or bell peppers into this super flavorful salsa.

🍅 What Is Salsa Borracha?

Salsa borracha, or drunken salsa, is a salsa that is usually made with beer or tequila. Salsa borracha was originally made with an alcoholic drink called pulque, but this is difficult to find outside of Mexico so beer is most commonly used.

🥄 Why This Recipe Works

  • Homemade salsa is so much better than storebought, and this is an easy recipe anyone can follow.
  • Although this is a pretty spicy salsa, you can adjust the level of spice by using fewer serranos or substituting them.
  • I like my salsa pretty smooth, but if you prefer chunky, you can easily accomplish this by pulsing the salsa in your food processor until it’s the way you like it.

🛒 What You Need To Make Drunken Serrano Salsa

📝 Recipe Ingredients And Substitutions

  • Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are best, as canned tomatoes won’t char as well.
  • Onion: I recommend using onions, but you could get away with onion powder in a pinch. The downside is that your salsa won’t have as much charred flavor.
  • Garlic: I prefer my drunken serrano salsa to just have a hint of garlic, but you can add more if you prefer.
  • Serranos: Serrano peppers can be pretty spicy, so you can use jalapeño peppers or green chiles if you want less heat.
  • Mexican lager: Pacifico, Modello or Corona are all great options, but you can use another beer if you prefer.
  • Fresh cilantro: You can omit it if you don’t like cilantro.
  • Chicken bouillon: You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting this with Better Than Bouillon.
  • Lime: Lime juice pairs perfectly with the lager, but you could use lemon in a pinch.
  • Pickled carrots: I used pickled carrots from a local taco shop (they typically come with pickled onions and jalapeños mixed in) but if you can’t find these in your area you can get Mexican pickled carrots on amazon.

*See above images or recipe card for full list of ingredients

🌶 How To Make This Recipe

Step 1: In a large skillet, pour oil and then lightly char tomatoes, onions, garlic (with the skin still on), serranos, and guajillo chilies, rotating them constantly.

Step 2: Slowly pour in your Mexican lager and let simmer for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skin from garlic cloves and then pour into a food processor.

Step 3: Add in cilantro, cumin, salt, chicken bouillon, lime juice, and pickled carrots. Blend until the desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust the spice by adding more serranos if needed.

Pro tip: I like to char half the serranos I intend to use and keep the other half fresh, then add them to the salsa in step 3.

🤷🏻‍♀️ Recipe FAQs

What is salsa roja vs verde?

The difference between salsa roja vs salsa verde is quite simple: salsa roja is red, salsa verde is green. Salsa roja is traditionally made with tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and peppers such as chile de arbol or jalapeño, although there are countless variations. Salsa verde is made with tomatillos (which give the salsa its green color), cilantro, onion, garlic, and peppers such as jalapenos or serranos. Basically, the biggest difference between salsa roja vs salsa verde is what kind of tomatoes are being used.salsa roja vs salsa verde side by side

Which is better for salsa serrano or jalapeno?

Serranos are best if you want your salsa to pack a punch, but if you prefer milder salsa jalapeños will be better as they are about 1/5 as spicy as serranos.

How spicy is serrano?

Serranos are roughly 5 times spicier than jalapeños, but with a ranking of 5000-15,000 Scoville units on the chili heat scale they are officially considered to be of “medium” heat.

drunken serrano salsa (salsa borracha) in a bowl

👩🏻‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • I recommend adding a little bit of lime zest if you want your salsa a little more citrusy.
  • The level of spice I like in my food borders on self-torture, so if you’re like me you can use up to 6 serranos, and if you don’t want to cry, 3 serranos will provide a sufficient amount of heat.
  • If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free beer like Stone Delicious IPA, New Belgium Glütiny Pale Ale, or Stella Artois Gluten-Free Lager.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page. 

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📖 Recipe

drunken serrano salsa (salsa borracha) in a bowl

Drunken Serrano Salsa (Salsa Burracha)

This drunken serrano salsa is spicy, boozy, and bursting with flavor!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 183 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 large tomatoes or 4 small tomatoes
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3-6 serranos
  • 4 guajillo chilies
  • 6 oz Mexican lager (half a bottle)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • cup pickled carrots

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, pour oil and then lightly char tomatoes, onions, garlic (with the skin still on), serranos, and guajillo chilies, rotating them constantly.
  • Slowly pour in your Mexican lager and let simmer for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skin from garlic cloves and then pour into a food processor.
  • Add in cilantro, cumin, salt, chicken bouillon, lime juice, and pickled carrots. Blend until the desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust the spice by adding more serranos if needed.

Notes

  • I like to char half the serranos I intend to use and keep the other half fresh, then add them to the salsa in step 3.
  • I recommend adding a little bit of lime zest if you want your salsa a little more citrusy.
  • The level of spice I like in my food borders on self-torture, so if you’re like me you can use up to 6 serranos, and if you don’t want to cry, 3 serranos will provide a sufficient amount of heat.
  • If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free beer like Stone Delicious IPA, New Belgium Glütiny Pale Ale, or Stella Artois Gluten-Free Lager.

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcalCarbohydrates: 13.3gProtein: 1.3gFat: 9.5gSaturated Fat: 1.3gSodium: 791mgPotassium: 217mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6g
Keyword salsa burracha, salsa roja vs verde, serrano salsa
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just got done making this salsa and it’s currently cooling in the fridge. Of course, I couldn’t resist trying it first and I have to say, it’s very tasty! I don’t think my serranos were as hot as they could have been since it didn’t make me cry! I did add a little more lime juice and probably 1/2 of the cilantro. Will definitely be making this again!

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