Welcome to the world’s most amped up tomato juice cocktail–the Bloody Mary.
It’s the ultimate weekend brunch drink. It’s also a famous hangover cure, though the benefits are due mostly to electrolyte replenishment coming from the liquid, salt, and natural sugar in the main ingredients – tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce. The vodka? My guess is drinking more vodka isn’t going to help anyone’s hangover much. Though who knows?
The Bloody Mary is one of my favorite drinks of all time, though usually I limit the vodka to one ounce (I’m a lightweight, don’t judge!), or leave it out all together for a Virgin Mary.
My version of this drink includes the basics that you would expect – tomato juice, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper – and a few subtle twists.
Instead of cayenne or Tabasco, I’m using sriracha. Tastes great and I always have a bottle in the fridge.
I’m also adding dill pickle juice. Pickle brine makes so many things better, right? (Try adding it to egg salad, or potato salad.) It’s salty, tangy, savory in a way that only comes from fermentation, and is a terrific addition to a Bloody Mary mix.
I use proportionally more Worcestershire sauce than I’ve found in other recipes, because it intensifies the savory flavor of the mix, and plays well with all of the other strongly flavored ingredients. I’ve noticed that when you add vodka to a Bloody Mary base, it dilutes the flavor intensity substantially, so you can afford to pump up the spices in this drink.
My final twist on the Bloody Mary base is to add a drop of liquid smoke. It gives the drink a lovely light smoky flavor. The liquid smoke is optional, I just love the flavor of smoke. (If you decide to experiment with it, I recommend using no more than 2 drops per glass, otherwise it can be overwhelming.)
Bloody Marys come served with a celery stick. Always.
You can load up with other garnishes to nibble on too. My friend Garrett was over the other day and we made Bloody Marys garnished with candied bacon and pickle wedges!
It’s all good. Add lemon wedges, olives, your Bloody Mary, your choice.
Enjoy, and Happy New Year!