To me, a good Bloody Mary should be a drink AND a meal. Or at least a good snack. But before you add all of those fun garnishes, it’s crucial that the drink itself is well balanced. That means different things to different people, but a good mix should have some spice, some umami, and some brightness. This recipe makes a pitcher’s worth, and it’s even better if you mix it up a day or two before serving so the flavors can marry. I like to put out extra horseradish, tabasco and black pepper for each person to doctor their own if they want more heat.
The Perfect Bloody Mary
yield: 6 drinks
For The Mix:
32 ounces good quality tomato juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (good quality store bought or recipe below)
1 teaspoon tabasco
freshly ground black pepper (a few good turns, or to taste)
For the Drinks:
6 shots of your favorite vodka
salted rim options:
salt + chipotle + coarsely ground fennel seeds
salt + smoked paprika + dried lemon zest
for garnish choose as many or as few as you desire:
pickles: carrots, asparagus, garlic , green beans, etc.
pickled or otherwise cooked shrimp
- Combine all of the mix ingredients in a large jar and shake well.
- If salting the rim of the glass(es), run the cut side of a lemon or lime around and tip the glass onto a plate with the salt mixture.
- Fill the glass with ice and add a shot of vodka.
- Top off with the Bloody Mary mix and add garnishes to your liking.
To make fresh horseradish: Peel and dice 1/2 pound of fresh horseradish root. Pulse several times in the food processor to get it finely minced. Process for about 5 minutes, adding 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and water as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Warning: Making fresh horseradish is is not for the faint of heart. It will make you cry. (But it’s so worth it.)
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