If faithful followers of Midweek Libations have been indulging a little too much, or are in need of a perfect cocktail for a Sunday Brunch, then this week’s cocktail will be an ideal remedy. Although Midweek Libations has mainly focused on cocktails for evening enjoyment, today we examine the quintessential breakfast cocktail, the Bloody Mary.
The origin of the Bloody Mary is somewhat disputed. One claim states that it was originally created by George Jessel, a famous American actor and entertainer, in New York around 1939. However, earlier accounts suggest Fernand Petiot, a French bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris, invented the drink in 1920. According to Petiot, the first two customers for whom he made the drink "were from Chicago, and they say there is a bar there named the Bucket of Blood. And there is a waitress there everybody calls Bloody Mary. One of the boys said that the drink reminds him of Bloody Mary, and the name stuck." Petiot later moved to the United States and became head bartender at New York St. Regis Hotel.
Any good bartender will have their own personal recipe for a Bloody Mary, and many will add their own ‘secret’ ingredient or special twist. At the end of the day, it all comes down to taste. One of the pleasures of this drink it the ability to adjust the ingredients to your own taste and try new ideas. My recipe for the perfect Bloody Mary, developed over years working behind cocktail bars, is below.
Fill a clean cocktail shaker with fresh ice. Add 2 measures of premium vodka (e.g. Absolut or Grey Goose. A lemon or pepper flavored vodka may be used if desired), 1 half measure of dry vermouth (e.g. Martini Dry or Noilly Prat), 1 half measure of Guinness beer, 3 measures (or more to taste) of quality tomato juice, 4 dashes (or more to taste) of Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins only please), 3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce, a pinch of celery salt, 1 half teaspoon of freshly ground horseradish, 1 squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Shake the ingredients vigorously and pour over ice into a chilled highball glass. Garnish with a fresh celery spear and lemon wedge. Don’t be put off by the Guinness! When the cocktail is mixed it adds a wonderful richness to the drink, balanced perfectly by the delicate vermouth. Enjoy!
Alternative: Inside Out Bloody Mary – prepare all the ingredients as above, omitting the vodka. Pour the prepared Bloody Mary mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. When ready to serve, place three or four Bloody Mary cubes in a Martini glass and pour over three measures of chilled lemon or pepper flavored vodka. Garnish with a small celery stalk and a chili.
Virgin Mary - For those on the Wagon, this cocktail may also be made without any alcohol (gasp!) and is still delicious. A splash of freshly squeezed orange juice may also be added to the tomato mixture if desired.
Thank you RJH for another wonderful cocktail! See all the past Midweek Libations HERE!