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ThinkingBartender

Bloody Mary

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Over the years I have had a very shakey relationship with the Bloody Mary, and by that I am not referring to its reputation as a morning after remedy. Too many times I have constructed Bloody Marys for customers while thinking, why are they drinking vodka with tomato juice? Regardless of how many "Ultimate" Bloody Mary recipes I have sampled, I have never quite been impressed by them; The reason for this ambivalence was never apparent until very recently; It was the wateryness of the mixture, and its increasing wateryness as it sat on the bartop. My "masterstroke" was to simply remove the ice, and thus the water, from the equation. Chill the vodka, and chill the tomato juice; And then the drink is at the correct dilution from start til finish; Your only concern will be the temperature of the libation; But will it last that long in the glass when the drink is consistently good, rather than evolving into a watery fruit juice?

Bloody Mary.

Into an empty rocks glass: Finely dice two slices of cucumber and a cocktail gherkin, then pile it into a rocks glass. Add a heaped tablespoon of Nando's Peri-peri sauce, and 6 dashes of Worchestershire Sauce; And then squeeze the juice of half a fresh lime into the glass, Add salt and pepper to taste; 35ml of chilled/ frozen vodka; Top with chilled Tomato juice, Stir thoroughly with a teaspoon; Serve.

Note: There must be no ice, and no straws for this drink; A teaspoon is allowed.

There are even more refinements to be made to this recipe, and this is best applied to jugs/ pitchers of the stuff; The tweaks to be recommended are freshly grated horseradish, celery salt, and finely diced celery.

So what recipes for Bloody Marys do my fellow Egulleteers feel are worth recommending?

Cheers!

George Sinclair.

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Working in a raw bar, the Bloody Caesar is the house specialty. A standard Bloody Mary with the addition of clam juice. The usual suspects of seasonings in the tomato juice: Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, horseradish, fresh lemon juice, celery salt, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper. And tomato juice and clam juice too.

We started out with gorgeous heirloom yellow tomato juice, but as the season wore on, the juice became less consistent and we've opted for the standard red tomato Caesar instead. It's still really popular.


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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My favorite variations (not a drink I willingly make often) are to throw a few leaves of fresh basil in the shaker and/or replace all or part of the plain vodka with some that has been infused for 24 hours with some fresh cracked black pepper. Imo, the most clutch ingredient is the lemon juice though.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I was indifferent to the Bloody Mary until I tried it with Stolichnaya. Recently I found that Korean 'Jinro' works well in place of the vodka, too. Worcester sauce and lemon juice / slice are compulsory; I can't often be bothered with much more.


Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Cool, one of my favorite topics! To me, the Bloody Mary is ALL about the garnishes, preferably edible. Pickled okra, spiced string beans, the classic, elegant, crunchy celery stick (leaves on!) a skewer of cherry tomatoes and bocconcini, pepperoni, salt-and-pepper glass rims.....

Bloody Marys make me hungry.

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My go to recipe was developed by my friend, Amy. It is more of a bloody caesar since we always use Clamato juice. The ingredients are added in the order of amounts used. I usually rim the glass with lemon juice and Chesapeake Bay seasoning mix. Ice is placed in the glass. Tabasco, then Lemon Juice, then Worcestershire Sauce, then Vodka, then Clamato Juice. Horseradish is added. I like adding some more Chesapeake Bay seasoning, celery seed, lemon pepper seasoning. Mix together then squeeze a wedge of lemon on the top so that you get that nice fresh lemon aroma first when brought to your nose. Love garnishes, too! A staple on Sunday mornings (esp. when I have company!!).

I have deviated some from the recipe by adding just a touch of V8 juice just to thicken the drink a bit. I've also used straight tomato juice for my family that do not think they like Clamato juice but use everything else in the same proportions.

Yummy!


Donna

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For me, the conversion point was trying really good tomato juice. And I don't mean fresh, although I'd be willing to try it. We get this great Knudsen organic tomato juice from a peripheral organic distributor in CA. It's different from the Knudsen organic at the store, which is kind of watery. I can't tell the difference on the label, which is annoying. This stuff is thick, almost pulpy, like the sauce left over in tomatoes canned in sauce. It really is like great, thin tomato sauce. Fresh lemon, freshly grated horseradish, S&P, maybe some Sriracha... mmm. Oh, and tequila. Vodka gets lost.


Small Hand Foods

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Oh, and tequila. Vodka gets lost.

Yeah this is one of the few places I almost always use vodka but I did once have the surreal experience of having a guy complain that he couldn't taste the vodka in his Bloody Mary :blink:


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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The best garnishes I've been served have been in Vancouver. Once an oyster on the half shell in the now defunct Metro, and a hard boiled quail's egg with a thick slice of crispy bacon wrapped around it and skewered with a toothpick at Boneta in Gastown. Dinner and a drink all in one.

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I've had it both ways and don't really have a preference but then again if I have 3-4 bloody marys in a year that's quite a lot for me, I guess in general I'd rather save the gin for other things most of the time. I did use it in winning an impromptu in-house contest once though.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Do I need to run out in my bathrobe to stock up on gin??

Horseradish is a must.

Pickled green beans.

Celery twizzler.

Plain tomato juice.

Fresh ground black pepper

Lemon

Vodka

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Oh no! Is there a shortage of gin?

Sometimes there is around my house :wink:

And the choice between the gin going in a Ramos for me or a Bloody Mary for a guest...well, thats not really a choice at all, is it? Priorities, I say.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I wanted a Bloody Ceasar, bad.  Problem was no Clamato or clam juice in the house.  I was IN for the night and improvised.  Drained the juice from 2 cans of tomatoes, added lime juice, dashi powder, Red Boat salt, a little caper juice, a little pickle juice, some sort of tomato and smoked paprika powder, garlic powder and mixed in a mason jar until it tasted.....almost right...

 

Ice cold vodka.

 

Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a Bloody Ceasar, but dashi powder is a satisfying flavor.   I bet the sodium in this thing is off the hook though.

 

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So funny. I'm reading this and meanwhile I'm drinking a bloody mary and eating popcorn. Ordinarily my preferred snack with a bloody mary is Cheetos, or, if I'm feeling vegetables, edamame. but my husband wanted popcorn since we are watching the first Giants/Dodgers game. I go for simple: Knudson tomato juice, horseradish, worcestershire, tabasco and lots of lemon juice. These days I'm liking Tito's vodka. In truth I'm a lightweight and use a modest amount of alcohol, so most vodkas would be fine with me. Mostly we drink cocktails with gin in our house, but frankly the idea of gin in a bloody mary as suggested upthread makes me cringe.

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19 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

I go for simple: Knudson tomato juice, horseradish, worcestershire, tabasco and lots of lemon juice.

 

Next time I might put a bit of wasabi in the dashi flavored Mary.   Tonight is Canadian Beer night.

 

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I don't do BM, but husband does.    AFAIK, his recipe is a short can of Spicy V8, shot of Worcestershire, big squeeze lemon (preferably Meyer), vodka, over ice.    No garnish.   Often enjoys with cheese stuffed celery.  


eGullet member #80.

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On 7/24/2020 at 12:27 AM, Katie Meadow said:

So funny. I'm reading this and meanwhile I'm drinking a bloody mary and eating popcorn. Ordinarily my preferred snack with a bloody mary is Cheetos, or, if I'm feeling vegetables, edamame. but my husband wanted popcorn since we are watching the first Giants/Dodgers game.

Probably needed a few more by the time that game was over.


For us, a bloody has to have horseradish. Worcestershire. Lemon. Tabasco. Celery salt.  Fresh ground pepper. Tomato juice. 
 

Oh...and gin. 


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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20 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

I don't do BM, but husband does.

Eventually you will explode.

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Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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25 minutes ago, EvergreenDan said:

Eventually you will explode.

As I wrote that and even reread it, I saw that one coming but thought, "No, they're not going to go there".    But you never know...  Or more apt, now we do.

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eGullet member #80.

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47 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Probably needed a few more by the time that game was over.


For us, a bloody has to have horseradish. Worcestershire. Lemon. Tabasco. Celery salt.  Fresh ground pepper. Tomato juice. 
 

Oh...and gin. 

We gave up on that game before it was over. Too depressing. Celery salt sounds like a good addition. What exactly IS celery salt? Can you add celery seed and salt?

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I love the classic with horseradish and celery salt. Worcestershire is non-negotiable. I don't like Tabasco; I substitute a hot sauce I enjoy. 

 

But I often don't have horseradish, and rarely have celery salt. I've found sriracha to be a fine substitute. Spice and garlic in place of horse. 

 

We also came up with an Indian-inspired version with fresh ginger, mango chutney, and cardamom, that we absolutely love. The Bloody Masala. 

 

I've enjoyed bloodies made with gin, but prefer vodka. It's maybe the only thing besides infusions I use vodka for. Always, always, whatever's cheapest at the liquor store. I'd be astonished if anyone could tell the difference between any two unflavored vodkas in a bloody mary ... in a blind triangle test. 


Notes from the underbelly

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