The Bloody Mary

Written by Rebeca Shinsky

When one thinks “breakfast”, one imagines coffee, eggs, and bacon, and perhaps some fresh squeezed OJ. However, the word, “brunch” conjures something else altogether. Lazy mornings, whether on a sun drenched patio or curled on a sofa while a storm brews, are perfect for the quintessential drink of brunch- the Bloody Mary.
Mary has the same calories as her culinary contrast Mimosa, but orange juice and champagne pack in a much greater sugar content. A Bloody Mary will likely contain capsaicin from the spicy ingredients (horseradish, Tabasco) which can boost your metabolism. Tomato juice is a powerful antioxidant, loaded with vitamins C and B and potassium. Plus, since Mimosas are lightweight and go down easily, you will likely drink more; a Bloody Mary is meant to be savored.
The first known Bloody Mary concoction can be traced to Paris in the 1920s, but New York has laid claim to refining the drink into the version we are most familiar with today. An interesting theory argues the beverage dates to the actual time of Queen Mary I, the mid 1500s. Legend claims the tomato juice represents blood spilled by the ruthless ruler, while the vodka or “fire” water symbolizes the Queen’s penchant for brutal execution of martyrs. Whether the name hails from royalty or just the mixologist’s friend, Mary, now that appetites are suitably whetted, on to the recipe:
Remember, a well-made Bloody Mary could stand in for an appetizer.
Before anything, rim the glass. Use pepper, Old Bay, or any spice mixture from the list of add-in ingredients below. Dip the glass in a bit of water and roll the rim in spices.
The Basic 6
Measures are subjective to taste.
Vodka – with all the flavor going on, this is the easiest choice. A “well” brand will work, but for the connoisseur a spicy or pepper vodka is preferred
Tomato Juice
Worcestershire Sauce
Lemon (at Railroad House, we use a blend of lemon juice and Champagne Vinegar for a fresh, bright aspect)
Tabasco or other hot sauce
The infinite add ins….don’t be afraid to be bold, the Bloody Mary is the perfect canvas for experimentation!
Olive Juice
Minced garlic
Lime Juice
Smoked Paprika
Black pepper
Sea Salt
Celery seed (A bit of a “throwback” ingredient. I feel it unnecessary)
We have all seen the concoctions topped with a precarious arrangement of teetering tasties; this is the time to be crazily creative. From the standard to the sublime here are just a few possibilities:
Lemon and/or lime
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh Basil or Parsley
Pickles (pickled ANYTHING)
Cheese cubes
Hard Boiled Egg
Why is celery associated so closely with the Bloody Mary? Celery is an astringent and an aromatic – it will cut through the coating tomato juice leaves in your mouth, neutralize the salty and spicy flavors and that satisfying crunch is a lovely contrast to the soup-like consistency.
Variations on this drink include:
Bloody Caesar , oddly enough, made with clam juice
Bloody Maria, switching tequila for the vodka
Bloody Michelada, use Mexican cerveza in place of vodka
Bloody Pirate, trade spiced rum for vodka
And the Virgin Mary, which, of course is made without the liquor.
An incredibly fun drink to make and consume with endless possibilities for research and development!