If you’ve been looking for a vibrant and spirited condiment to take your favorite Mexican meals to the next level of deliciousness, you need to try my simple recipe for Salsa Borracha! Also known as “drunken salsa,” this delightful taqueria-style salsa features smoky chiles, roasted tomatoes, and an unmistakable hint of malty goodness. 

Salsa Borracha (a.k.a. "Drunk Salsa") in a brown pottery bowl surrounded with homemade corn tortilla chips on a turquoise tablecloth with beers in glasses in the background.

What is Salsa Borracha?

The word “borracha” translates to “drunken” in English, and it’s no coincidence that it’s part of this salsa’s name. This isn’t just another condiment you casually dollop onto your plate — it’s an exquisite dance of flavors that marries the richness of ripe tomatoes, the fiery embrace of chilies, and the spirited charm of beer. 

Yep, you read that right – this borracho sauce has a splash of beer, and it’s the secret ingredient that elevates it to a level of unparalleled deliciousness. As the beer mingles with the rest of the ingredients, it imparts a depth and complexity that’s as bold as the mariachi’s trumpet and as spirited as a fiesta in full swing. 

But don’t worry; this salsa won’t leave you stumbling. The alcohol cooks off during the process, leaving behind only the essence of its robust flavor.

What truly makes this “drunk salsa” a must-try is the way it manages to be simultaneously smoky, spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your steak, chicken, or fish tacos, but is equally delightful with little more than a basket of chips and a cold cerveza. 😉

Why You’ll Love This Salsa Borracha Recipe

Aside from being a fun new addition to my ever growing catalog of tasty dips, this beer salsa is also:

  • Versatile and Flavorful: It effortlessly harmonizes with a myriad of culinary creations and occasions, from intimate home dinners to lively backyard barbecues or festive Mexican-themed gatherings. Elevate your dishes by drizzling it over tacos, marinating grilled meats, or simply dipping your favorite chips. This salsa is your dependable, flavor-packed companion.
  • Customizable Heat – Crafting your own salsa at home grants you the power to dictate the heat level. Recognizing that spice preferences vary widely, this recipe empowers you to fine-tune the quantity of chiles. Whether you crave a gentle hint of warmth or a fiery kick, you’re in command. 
  • Crafted With Only 10 Ingredients – Salsa Borracha is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. Yet, its flavor profile remains anything but ordinary. Don’t be deceived by its straightforwardness; this salsa delivers a complex taste experience that transcends its basic ingredient list. 
overhead shot of a Mexican beer with tomatoes and tomatillos, olive oil, and spicy peppers on a marble background.

Ingredients & Substitutions

As promised, you only need a few simple ingredients to make this taqueria-style tomato and tomatillo salsa. Here’s what to grab:

  • Oil – Any neutral oil will work beautifully here.
  • Tomatillos – Make sure to remove the papery husks and rinse off the sticky sap, then dry thoroughly before roasting.
  • Roma Tomatoes – Any firm, meaty variety of tomato will work. Just make sure to skip varieties with lots of seeds (i.e. most “slicer” or heirloom tomatoes).
  • Jalapeños – For bright heat. Feel free to swap in milder poblanos or anaheims, or go extra spicy with serranos.
  • Onion – White or yellow work great.
  • Garlic Cloves – While I’d normally give you the go-ahead to use jarred minced garlic to save on time, we need whole cloves for this salsa recipe.
  • Mexican Beer – Cerveza is key to this salsa — “drunk” is even in the name! Feel free to use any brand that you enjoy drinking out of hand.
  • Chiles de Arbol – Optional, but lovely for adding more smoky, spicy flavor.
  • Cilantro – Since we’re blitzing everything in a food processor, feel free to use both the tender stems and leaves.
  • Salt – Opt for kosher, sea salt, or himalayan pink salt for the best flavor.

How To Make Salsa Borracha

This salsa recipe is as easy as 1-2-3:

Step 1: Brown tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, and garlic in oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat.

close up of roasted tomatoes and Chile peppers browning in a pan.

Step 2: Get borracha! Add half a bottle of Mexican beer and chiles de arbol, if using. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.

Salsa Borracha (a.k.a. "Drunk Salsa") ingredients in a a pan boiling.

Step 3: Pulse in a food processor or blender with cilantro and salt until it reaches your desired consistency. Enjoy!

roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers with fresh cilantro in a food processor.

Optional Variations

While I think this salsa borracha recipe is pretty perfect, feel free to adjust as you go. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

  • More Spicy – If you love your salsa to have extra fuego, feel free to amp up the heat by adding more jalapeños and/or chiles de arbol.
  • Less Spicy – If you’re more of a mild salsa lover, tame the heat by carefully removing the seeds and membranes from the jalapeños. You’re also welcome to omit the chiles de arbol. 
  • Molcajete-Style – No blender or food processor? No problem. Go old school and mash your salsa ingredients in a molcajete (mortar & pestle) instead. 
Close up view of Salsa Borracha in a Mexican scalloped brown pottery bowl with tortilla chips in the background.

Expert Tips

  • Choose the Right Beer: The choice of beer can significantly impact the flavor of your salsa. Opt for a Mexican beer with a flavor profile that complements the smoky and spicy elements of the salsa. A darker beer like Negro Modelo can add depth, while a light lager like Sol, Dos Equis, or Pacifico can provide a milder, crisper note. Experiment with different types to find your favorite.
  • Roast Your Ingredients: Roasting the chiles, tomatoes, onions, and garlic is key to developing the deep, smoky flavors of this salsa with beer. Make sure to roast them in the pan until they’re charred and softened for the most authentic taste.
  • Balance the Flavors: Achieve a well-balanced salsa by experimenting with acidity and sweetness. You can add a splash of lime juice for brightness or a touch of agave nectar or honey to balance the heat and smokiness.
  • Consistency Matters: The texture of your salsa can be tailored to your liking. For a chunky salsa, pulse the ingredients briefly in a food processor or chop them by hand. If you prefer a smoother texture, blend the ingredients until they reach the desired consistency.
  • Rest for Flavor Fusion: Allow your salsa to rest for at least an hour before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more harmonious and flavorful salsa.
  • Store Properly: Salsa Borracha can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can even improve in flavor as it sits, making it a great make-ahead condiment for your meals. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months if you need.
  • Experiment and Adapt: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your Salsa Borracha. Try adding roasted vegetables like bell peppers or corn for extra depth, texture and sweetness. You can also experiment with different chile varieties or beer styles to create unique variations of this classic salsa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is salsa borracha spicy? 

It all depends on the recipe and how you make it. If you opt to omit the chiles de arbol and remove the seeds and membranes from your jalapeño, your salsa will be rather mild. On the other hand, if you leave the seeds and membranes in tact and also add the extra chiles, it will be a bit fierier. 

Why is restaurant salsa better than homemade salsa?

Let’s set the record straight — homemade taqueria-style salsa can be just as incredible, if not even better than what you’d get at your favorite restaurant! Here’s why:

First, you get to handpick the juiciest tomatoes, the spiciest chiles, and the freshest cilantro around. Imagine the possibilities! You can craft your salsa to match your tastebuds perfectly, ensuring each bite is an explosion of flavor that you adore.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of the roasting step. It’s where the magic happens. Roasting your chiles, tomatoes, onions, and garlic adds that delightful smoky depth that makes taqueria-style salsa truly special. It’s the secret ingredient behind that rich, complex flavor that’ll keep you coming back for more, chip after chip.

But here’s where it gets even cooler: customization. Feeling brave and want to crank up the heat? Toss in an extra jalapeño. Want to dial it down a notch? Out go those chile seeds. In your kitchen, you’re the boss! You can experiment with different types of chiles, play with acidity levels, and tinker with the sweetness, all to create a salsa that’s uniquely yours.

Armed with the right ingredients, a little roasting know-how, and the freedom to tweak things your way, your homemade taqueria-style salsa can go toe-to-toe (or even one-up) the restaurant versions any day of the week. It’s a homemade masterpiece waiting to happen!

Salsa Borracha (a.k.a. "Drunk Salsa") in a brown pottery bowl surrounded with homemade corn tortilla chips on a turquoise tablecloth.

More Homemade Salsa Recipes

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #muybuenocooking.

Salsa Borracha (a.k.a. "Drunk Salsa") in a brown pottery bowl surrounded with homemade corn tortilla chips on a turquoise tablecloth with beers in glasses in the background.

Salsa Borracha (a.k.a. “Drunk Salsa”)

4.41 (5 ratings)
If you’ve been looking for a vibrant and spirited condiment to take your favorite Mexican meals to the next level of deliciousness, you need to try my simple recipe for Salsa Borracha! Also known as “drunken salsa,” this delightful taqueria-style salsa features smoky chiles, roasted tomatoes, and an unmistakable hint of malty goodness. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 6 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 3 jalapeños, stemmed
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 ounces Mexican beer
  • 3-5 chiles de arbol, (optional)
  • Handful cilantro
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions 

  • On medium low heat add oil in a frying pan and brown tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, and garlic.
  • Once browned, add half a bottle of Mexican beer and chiles de arbol, if using into the pan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Place ingredients in a food processor or blender with cilantro and salt and pulse.
  • This salsa can be enjoyed with beef, fish, or chicken tacos.

Notes

  • Spice level: If you opt to omit the chiles de arbol and remove the seeds and membranes from your jalapeño, your salsa will be rather mild. On the other hand, if you leave the seeds and membranes in tact and also add the extra chiles, it will be a bit fierier. 
  • Store leftover salsa in an airtight container like a sealed mason jar in the fridge for up to a week. 
Calories: 56kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 0.3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 135mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 265IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 0.2mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks