I came in to this week very excited to shed a fresh light on one of my least favorite cocktails. It seemed logical. I hadn’t liked Bloody Marys in the past but I also hadn’t been personally making them and carefully controlling each ingredient. My excitement buoyed further when I cracked open the bottle of tomato juice and had a small glass. It was actually pretty good! My hatred of the stuff had seemed to fade away as my palate aged.
Thrilled with the possibilities I mixed up a Bloody Mary following Gary Regan’s general recipe and including all the “to taste” optional add ons. I took a couple excited sips and promptly poured out the remaining 3/4 of the drink. I really didn’t like it. Disheartened a bit but knowing there must be a solution I looked to your comments for some direction. Following Drink Snob’s wise suggestion I mixed up a Red Snapper and was fairly pleased. But this only added to my confusion. How could it be that I liked the Red Snapper but not the Bloody Mary? They were nearly identical.
Then it hit me. The horseradish. That was really the only add on in the Bloody Mary that wasn’t in the Red Snapper that I felt would add a strong enough flavor to change the dynamic of the cocktail markedly. Problem is, I like horseradish. You break out the prime rib you best have lots ready. But in this drink, even though I only used about 1/2 tsp, it was throwing off the flavor enough that I no longer liked the drink. Feeling that I was at a turning point I mixed up another minus the horseradish and the results were much more favorable.
This was truly a drink I could enjoy, sort of. My step dad summed it up perfectly for me. Usually when I have a new drink he and my mom are keen to give it a try. When I offered to bring over Bloody Marys this week the response was, “Nah. Thanks though.” I asked him why and his response rang true. “I like Bloody Marys, but usually only one and only when there aren’t other options.” Those comments echo my feelings exactly. Were I at someone’s home for brunch and they were serving Bloody Marys I’d probably have one. However, if I’m at a restaurant and there are other brunch cocktail options say a Mimosa or a Screwdriver I’m going to reach for those every time.
If you’re interested in what values I like for the “to taste” ingredients here’s my preferred recipe:
Bloody Mary (Cocktail Hacker)
2 oz Vodka 4 oz Tomato Juice 1/4 oz Lemon Juice 3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce 2 Dashes Hot Sauce Heavy Pinch of Kosher Salt 2 Grinds of Black Pepper Lemon Wedge for Garnish Celery Stalk for Garnish
1) Combine ingredients in shaker with ice 2) Shake until well chilled 3) Strain into an ice filled Collins glass 4) Garnish with lemon and celery