My Perfect Bloody Mary

I'm the person at brunch who waits for someone else to order a bloody mary first. Not because I want to see who the drinkers are, but because I want to try before I buy. Bad ones are pretty darn bad. It seems like they always have too much of something. Too much horseradish. Too much ground pepper or celery salt. Too much vodka - yes - there is such a thing. And of course some people think that the spicier it is, the better it is. Don't get me wrong, I love some heat, but too much and you can't taste the flavors.

I took on the Bloody Mary Project just in time for a potluck brunch at my friend Jennie's house. Determined to transform this often offensive libation into morning drinking perfection, I started my search by reading a slew of recipes. I found that the core ingredients were in almost all of them. The differences came by adding one or two unusual items, like chipotle peppers or cilantro.

I wanted to come up with a good basic bloody, so I started experimenting with different proportions of the base flavors. The recipe that follows is the end result of my tests - and received unanimous praise from the brunch crew, who all swore they were being objective and not just saying so to be polite.

Perfectly Good Basic Bloody Mary
Be sure to use a quality tomato juice and put it in the fridge so it's nice and cold when you mix this up.
Serves about 8

6 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups vodka
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons drained bottled horseradish, minced fine
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely ground fresh pepper
1 tablespoon olive juice (olive juice, too!)

Garnish: green olives, celery stalks, lemon wedges, cornichon, etc...

Stir everything up together, taste and adjust seasonings. Add more tabasco - it's your bloody mary now - make it perfect for you! Serve over ice.


JenWaller said...

Bookmarked! I love a good Bloody Mary, and I haven't made one in ages. I love your addition of olive juice!

Mel said...

Was in New Orleans last summer & they have these pickled green beans in the mix....a little to hot for my buds! I can't wait to try your version! thxs!

Elizabeth said...

This looks so beautiful. Very nicely done.

robyn said...

melissa, what brand tomato juice did you use?

melissa said...

Robyn - I think I used the Whole Foods brand.

Zoe said...

Will definitely have to try your recipe...have been on a Bloody Mary rampage the past few months, and love making other peoples' favorites!