The Bloody Mary
Hardy, Layered, Filling
On any Sunday here in the Pacific Northwest, hoards of bleary-eyed brunch goers reach for one of the most popular "hangover cures"; the Bloody Mary. This drink breaks pretty much every cocktail convention we know. To start, it's unapologetically savory, typically spicy, and is often accompanied wish a garnish that would make a salad bar blush. But it's all these unusual qualities that make the Bloody Mary justly distinguished, and a staple on brunch menus across the US.
For home bartenders, the Bloody Mary can be an intimidating cocktail at first. Recipes for the perfect Bloody mix are shrouded in mystery, with many bars keeping it a tightly guarded secret. Pre-made mixes are readily available at most grocery stores but they’re never as satisfying as the freshly made real deal. While these mixes truly simplify the process of making a Bloody Mary–just add vodka–they limit your ability to make a drink that fits your unique tastes and cravings.
The history of the Blood Mary dates back to prohibition times...go figure, like almost every other classic cocktail. While Americans were coping with forced sobriety, fun loving Parisians and their expat companions were blending cultures and copious amounts of spirits to push the cocktail world forward. The Bloody brought together Russian vodka, a new spirit on the scene after the Russian Revolution, and canned tomato juice "cocktail" from America. It didn't take long for this combo to gain popularity for its hair-of-the-dog qualities; staying on the cusp of inebriation while consuming your vegetables and vitamins. In the hands of American bartenders nearly a decade after its inception, the Bloody Mary was refined with the addition of fresh citrus, savory Worcestershire sauce, and a heavy dose of spices. Not much has changed since.
Bringing it back home, the basic Bloody Mary recipe is easy to whip up with minimal prep. We recommend making a large batch of the mix to keep in your fridge. The building blocks for a great mix are basic; good tomato juice, fresh lime and lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a simple spice mix.
Here's how to make the perfect Bloody Mary.
32 oz Organic Tomato Juice
2 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce (we like local Secret Aardvark, but Tabasco brings a nice vinegar quality)
1 Tbsp celery salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
Celery stalk for garnish
To make the mix, add tomato juice, citrus juices, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and spice mix to a large pitcher. For best results, make the mix the night before and let the flavors combine in the fridge overnight. When you're ready to make a Bloody Mary, pour 2 oz of Portland Potato Vodka into a chilled collins glass filled with ice. Top with your mix, and give it a couple stirs. Garnish with a celery stalk and enjoy!
Once you've mastered this basic Bloody Mary recipe, the real fun comes in developing your own unique mix that's perfect for your taste and occasion! Want something a little more complex and savory? Try adding in a large scoop of pickled horseradish and an ounce or two of your favorite pickle juice. Sweet and smoked paprika are also great additions to your spice mix, and can really help round out the acidity from the citrus.
Another fun variation to play around with is infusing your own vodka. A couple tablespoons of whole black peppercorns added to your bottle of Portland Potato Vodka will create a delicious peppery vodka after infusing for two to three days. Same goes for garlic cloves, habanero or jalapeno peppers, fresh dill, grated ginger, etc. Better yet, save yourself the infusion time and pick up a bottle of our Hot Potato Vodka. Don't be afraid to get creative, experiment, and develop your own secret Bloody Mary recipe!