The New and Improved "Classic" Bloody Mary:
Look! Up in the Sky! It's A Drink, It's a Meal!!!
Since I just recently made Penne Alla Vodka, I had a whole bunch of vodka left over that was burnin' a hole in my pocket. I'm actually not much of a hard alcohol drinker. My first choice would be a nice box..err..I mean bottle of wine. However, on occasion and in the spirit of camaraderie, I'll imbibe in a shot or two. But once in a blue moon, I get a hankerin' for a good cocktail. The only requirement, and it's not too much to ask I don't think, is it has to be made right.
Ooh! Epiphany. Maybe that's why I don't drink cocktails. Maybe I've had too many crappy ones, and believe me, I've had some REALLY crappy ones. It's a cryin' shame that there are so many bartenders out there that can't put together a decent drink. That being said, I guess I'd better a least build an acceptable one myself.
My family on my mother's side is Canadian. In the Great White North, they don't drink Bloody Marys. They drink Bloody Caesars also simply referred to as a Caesar. It's essentially a Bloody Mary however it's made with clamato juice instead of tomato juice. When my family visits or vice versa, it's Bloody Caesars from noon until the wee small hours of the morning. Holy crap it is a party. And it not just a cocktail, it's an art. From the first ingredient to the last, there is a method. Even down to the order in which you add everything. If you put the lemon juice in before you put the pepper, you messed it up. What?
The awesome thing about them is that they can party until 2 or 3 in morning and then be up 7 am and out mowing the lawn and gardening. I can't do it. I'm peeping out from behind the blinds, cross-eyed, at 9:30 am, hoping they don't see me. Then about an hour later, I stroll out and say hello. These folks are all chipper, smiling and have already gotten all the chores done, been grocery shopping, paid the bills, and whatever else you can think of. I'm in sheer awe of the partying professionalism they display every time I have the pleasure of seeing them.
Worcestershire is an absolute must. But as most of you already know, Worcestershire has anchovies in it. So you're gonna have to do a bit of homework. I found a good vegan one at Whole Foods. If there's no Whole Foods in your area, try upper-end markets that carry organic and vegan products. Otherwise, there's always the good old internet. I use a brand called Wan Ja Shan. It's actually pretty good. And if you like Worcestershire, order 2 or more bottles because it'll save you money in shipping (on average price per bottle). Some recipes say a splash of Worcestershire. I say more than a splash. I want it bold. But you can be the judge.
Hopefully I have created a good balance here with this recipe. Enjoy.
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce such as Tabasco
- 1 Tbsp + another quick splash of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce - I use Wan Ja Shan
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 splash of brine from a cocktail olive or pickled green beans jar (optional)
- 2 oz. vodka (3 oz. if you want to get hammered)
- 8 oz. tomato juice or vegetable juice such as V8
- for garnish: cocktail olives, pickled green beans, celery stalks, lemon slices
1. Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full with ice
2. Add pepper, celery salt, hot sauce, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and brine (if you are using it)
3. Add vodka and tomato juice. Cover and shake.
4. Pour into glasses over ice and garnish as desired.