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These garlicky, spicy “drunken shrimp” get big, bold flavor from a liberal pour of tequila

Drunken Shrimp with Tequila (Camarones Borrachos)

3 reviews
Appears in May-June 2022

35 minutes

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Drunken Shrimp with Tequila (Camarones Borrachos)

These camarones borrachos—or “drunken shrimp,” translated from the Spanish—are food writer and recipe developer Paola Briseño-González’s version of a dish served up by Sergio Peñuelas at 106 Seafood Underground, a casual outdoor eatery located, literally, in the backyard of a residence in Inglewood, California. Peñuelas uses head-on shelled shrimp, which are amazingly flavorful but difficult to source. For this recipe, you can peel and devein the shrimp so they’re easy to eat or you can leave the shells on, as they contain loads of shrimp flavor and do an excellent job of trapping the garlicky, spicy sauce. Use a tequila that’s labeled as “blanco,” “plata,” “white” or “silver”—it should be clear and lack color—rather than a variety that’s rested (reposado) or aged (añejo). If you like, serve with rice on the side, as Peñuelas does, and with lots of napkins if you’ve kept the shells on the shrimp.

4 to 6



Don’t forget to reduce the heat to medium before adding the shrimp to the skillet. Gentle cooking helps ensure that the shrimp cook up plump and tender.

35 minutes


  • 2

    pounds extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined (if desired; see headnote)

  • 2

    teaspoons lime juice, plus lime wedges to serve


  1. 01
    In a large bowl, stir together the shrimp, lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt; set aside. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine the tequila and 1 cup water.

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