Happy 2011 everybody! I hope everyone had a safe and fun night! It’s at least in the realm of possibility that you woke up today with a bit of a headache. At least for me, champagne always gives me killer hangovers.
And this, my friends, is the best cure I know.
I used to bar tend at a spot in DC that offered all-you-can-drink Bloody Marys for brunch. I was determined to make my Bloody Marys from scratch. No mix for me thank you. After a year or so of this, I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed the best Bloody Mary mix you can make. I’d put it up against any store bought mix any day of the week.
I recommend keeping a jar of it on hand if you’re in for a long drinking weekend!
Bloody Marys from Scratch
Yield: 7-8 large drinks
46 ounces pure tomato juice. If you use from concentrate, be sure to shake it well.
1 lemon, juice only
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Horseradish
1 Tablespoon hot sauce
2 Teaspoons celery salt
1 Tablespoon fresh black pepper
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
Oysters or Shrimp (Fancy Schmancy)
1) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk. If you're unsure about an ingredient, add just a bit and taste it. Then add more until you get the flavor you want. Remember that the mix should be pretty strong since it gets diluted with vodka and water from ice.
2) To make a drink, add 1 part vodka to 3-4 parts mix over ice and stir well. Garnish with your choice of garnishes and enjoy!
Making the Mix
Ok. So I claim this as the best Bloody Mary mix out there, but that’s a pretty subjective statement. I like my Bloody Mary’s to be really spicy, really peppery, and have lots of horseradish. If you don’t like those things, then this probably won’t work for you.
A popular ingredient that I don’t add to my mix is clam juice. I’ve found that people are pretty split on it, so it’s something that I add to individual drinks if people like it.
Basically, I just pour all this stuff in a large bowl and whisk it well to combine everything. A few tips:
- On the Horseradish, make sure to get just jarred horseradish, NOT horseradish SAUCE. That stuff won’t work. Most supermarkets have grated horseradish next to the pickles and olives or near the mustards.
- If you’re in doubt about one of the ingredients, start with a tiny bit, mix it together and taste it. You can always add more, but it’s impossible to remove it once it’s in there!
- The mix should be almost too strong to drink straight. If you taste it by itself it should be really strong that way when it’s mixed, it still has plenty of flavor. Remember that the mix is going to be diluted by vodka and also water as the ice melts.
You know you’re in business if you can see specks of stuff in your tomato juice.
Half the fun of Bloody Mary’s is putting in a lot of fun garnishes. Celery is pretty much a given. I’m not sure I would trust a Bloody Mary without celery in it.
I also like a pickle spear and olives in mine, but you can go crazy. One of my favorite variations is to dip the rim of your glass in Old Bay which gives the drink a certain Maryland feel.
If you want to get really high class you could add a shrimp or two to the drink!
Mixing the Drink
My general rule for Bloody Mary’s is 1 part vodka to 3-4 parts mix with lots of ice.
You can very much eyeball this, but if you want to be specific, use a shot glass to measure it. Mix all the stuff over ice and give it a good stir.
Add in your garnishes and you’re good to go.
Now, of course, it would be best to have some foresight so you can have this already mixed up when you need it. I usually just pour my mix back into my tomato juice bottle and write over the label.
It should go without saying that a good Bloody Mary goes great with football which also happens to be in season.
Have a great weekend everyone and happy 2011!