A cocktail that offers the opportunity to include literally a hundred different ingredients, has as many different tastes and hues, is always refreshing and intoxicating and also gives you your daily recommended supply of numerous vitamins?
There is only one. The Bloody Mary. Here we will explore what makes a good Bloody Mary a good Bloody Mary.
Everyone knows, if nothing else but from the color, that a Bloody Mary is a tomato-based drink. But the variations and additions to this base are endless! There are several different realms of taste that you might look for in a Bloody: Spicy, salty, savory, tart and heat. The beauty of this drink is that you can tailor each drink to match how much of each realm that you want to hit your taste buds. Traditional elements of a Bloody Mary are tomato juice, pepper, some form of heat source (Tabasco, hot sauce or actual hot peppers), celery, Worcester sauce, horseradish and of course, vodka. Today’s connoisseur has developed a more sophisticated palate for essential ingredients. Bacon, pickles, ham, cheeses, peppers, onions, pepperoni, olives and salami have replaced the traditional celery stalk that was the only additional shape and color that your flight attendant would offer you. (Because let’s face it. Celery was only added for color and shape. Never taste. Who would actually drink that drink and periodically take a bite of that bland, green, garden weed anyway? But to be fair, celery still does add a certain “look” to the glass so it still has a place in our world.)
So how do we make the perfect Bloody Mary? The answer is “We don’t”. The beauty of this aperitif is that one person’s “hot” perfect Mary is another person’s undrinkable drink and one person’s “bacon-y” (It is TOO a word!) Bloody is too much meat for another’s. Each of us can make our own “perfect”.
Here are just some basic ingredient hints to make yours more or less of any specific taste realm and get you started on your journey to find the bloodiest:
More spicy? Pearl onions, red pepper and horseradish (Adding extra black pepper is also a tried and true solution).
More heat? Cholula sauce, Frank’s RedHot (of course, we put that shit on everything) and Tiger sauce or actual cayenne pepper.
More tart? Dill pickle juice poured right from a pickle jar or lime juice (From a lime. Not from a bottle).
More salty? Tahin or celery salt.
More savory? Don’t make me slap you. Bacon.
Remember that making YOUR perfect Bloody Mary will take several tries. There are many different elements to experiment with. The best part is that while you are trying out different heat levels and spice levels, you are STILL DRINKING BLOODY MARYS!!! But wait…
We’ve referenced many different ingredients for your Bloody Mary but what we have yet to mention are the different flavors of VODKA! Stay tuned. We’ll will have a future article on those!
So we hope that this has gotten you acclimated to possibly the most delicious and, potentially, the most nutritious cocktail out there on the pub circuit.
Here’s to you finding The Bloodiest.