It took 25+ years, but I finally became a fan of Bloody Marys. This change largely occurred thanks to the Bloody Mary bar at Holman’s in Portland. My personal Bloody Mary recipe owes a lot to Will Gordon’s article on Deadspin, so check that out.
Here’s what to put in your shopping cart:
- Vodka (I use Crater Lake or Ketel One)
- Tomato juice
- Lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce (I use Cholula)
- Salt (I use celery salt)
- Pepper (fresh ground, if possible)
- Pickled okra for garnish
- Beef stick for garnish
When I’m making a single drink, I don’t do much measuring. Start with a few ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add one can (5.5oz) of tomato juice. Add a generous squeeze of horseradish (~1 tsp). Add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce (~1/2 tbsp each). Juice part of a lemon (half of a small one, quarter of a large one). Add a pinch of cumin and paprika. Add a few grinds of pepper (~1/4 tsp). Add a shake or two of salt (~1/8 tsp). I add vodka to the top of my cocktail shaker (~2 oz). Shake well. Strain into a pint glass with a few ice cubes. Add two pickled okra and a beef stick (cut the beef stick lengthwise as garnish.
I actually had to deconstruct my single drink recipe to make a pitcher with the right proportions for eight-ish servings. Start with a pitcher that is at least 64 oz and that either seals (so you can shake it) or has a wide mouth (so you can whisk). We want a 46 oz container of tomato juice, 16 oz vodka, 2.5 tbsp horseradish, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup hot sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp pepper, and the juice of two lemons. Mix well by shaking or whisking. If you don’t keep your tomato juice and vodka cold, you’ll want to stash your finished pitcher in the fridge for a couple hours to chill. Pour into pint glasses with a few ice cubes. Add two pickled okra and a beef stick (cut the beef stick lengthwise as garnish.