The Bloody Mary is a classic drink that has as many different recipes. Some people swear by it as a cure for their hangover. Is it really that effective? The jury is still out on that one.
However, if we examine the ingredients sans vodka, the tomato juice, lemon juice and celery salt do provide a lot of nutrition and electrolytes. Plus, since the drink usually comes with ice, the ice water will hydrate body. Water can help the body to metabolize and get rid of the alcohol from the system. The vodka is just there to bring back a bit of the party mood.
Who first invented the classic Blood Mary is unclear. Several popular claims that the drink was created after 1921 at the bars which one way or the other has something to do with Ernest Hemingway – either the New York Bar that he frequented in Paris or the bar at the Ritz Paris that was named after him.
The taste of this drink often reminds people of shrimp cocktail and restaurants sometimes would include Bloody Mary as a part of their brunch menu.
The recipe of this drink can vary quite a lot. The ingredients can be changed or added according to a patron’s taste or the tradition of the place where it is served. Because of that, the taste profile of a Bloody Mary will depend on the combinations of ingredients of each recipe, the flavor interactions between them and how the drink is mixed and served.
My version of Classic Blood Mary recipe is as follow: (serves 6)
6 oz Vodka
3 cups Tomato Juice
6 tablespoon Lemon Juice (about 1 medium Lemon)
2 Teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 ¾ Teaspoon Black Pepper (preferably freshly grinded)
1 Teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Celery Salt
2 Teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce (more if prefer bigger kick)
1 Stalk of Celery (optional)
1 Wedge of Lemon as garnish (optional)
Pinch Kosher Salt (optional, rim the glass)
Each of the basic ingredients can be substituted based on one’s preference and taste. Here are some suggestions:
Can be Bourbon, Rye, Sherry, Tequila and Gin (decent cheap ones will do since there are so many flavors in the drink that you might not be able to taste the different flavor notes of a good spirit anyway.)
Hot Sauce of your choice that provides acidity to brighten up the drink. Traditionally, it is Tabasco. (Classic recipes include hot sauce as a part of their spices. Since the variety of different hot sauces has been exploded in the past decade of so, there are many choices that you can choose from now. More of this in another post.)
Be as creative as you want, olive skew, fruit slices or skew, kebabs, ribs, fried or grilled Shrimp or even sashimi.
Bloody Mary is better made fresh since it only last for about 24 hours. If preparing for party, a virgin Bloody Mary can be prepared before hand. It should be stored in refrigerator for about 2 hours or overnight for the flavors to interact with each others. Add vodka and stir with ice before serving.
Immediate serving instructions:
- Prepare cocktail mixers or two shakers.
- Put the pepper, salt, lemon juice and all the sauces into a shaker.
- Put ice into the mixer or shaker about half full.
- Pour in vodka and tomato Juice.
- Stir well and pour into another shaker and shake several times.*
- Serve with a high ball glass with kosher salt rim.
- Garnish by put in a stalk of celery and a wedge of lemon on rim.
* Some prefer shaking vigorously and strain to serve. I prefer to drink Bloody Mary with everything in it and that is not foamy from all the shaking.