There are billions of reasons for day drinking on a Sunday: you need a little hair of the dog, your NFL team is winning, you’re thirsty in church, it’s the holidays and you have a house full of family drama, to name a few. And there is no better concoction for a Sunday Funday than a Bloody Mary. Brunch says to it, “You complete me.”
We owe a debt of gratitude to the French for our pervasive Sunday elixir. Legend has it that the Bloody Mary was created by Fernand “Pete” Petiot at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the early 1920s and after the end of that ghastly period known as Prohibition, he imported his basic recipe to the King Cole Bar in New York.
Over the years the Bloody Mary has taken on a myriad of styles while staying true to its core ingredients. The basic backbone of a bloody — vodka and tomato juice — gives it an ideal frame for an immeasurable variety of spices and garnishes to customize it to suit your mood.
Recently I stumbled across a wonderful book by Judy Bennett, Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations,that has dozens of scrumptious recipes to fit any reason you have for drinking a cocktail. In her book, Bennett mixes wit and wisdom as deftly as she mixes booze and bitters. It’s full of clever anecdotes to accompany each recipe.
As a food and drink writer, I felt it was my duty to work my way through the book, finding the recipes I like best for conjuring a mid-day haze on a lazy afternoon. We are fortunate to have several excellent hand-crafted vodkas made right here in Texas like newcomers 1876 Vodka and Starlite Vodka from Treaty Oak Distilling Co.; and stalwarts like Deep Eddy Vodka, Dripping Springs Vodka, Savvy Vodka and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. I substituted all of the recommended vodkas in Bennett’s book Texas vodka to give them a local flair. Give these a try.
This is the official tailgate recipe of the Green Bay Packers, but you can make it suitable for a Longhorns, Cowboys or Texans game by mixing it with local Deep Eddy Vodka.
- Generous amounts of Worcestershire sauce, 4-5 dashes
- 3 drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
- 3 dashes celery salt
- Juice from 1 lemon wedge
- 2 fingers Deep Eddy Vodka
- 2-3 fingers tomato juice
- Dill pickle spear, to serve (optional)
- Garlic-stuffed green olives, to serve (optional)
- Pepperoncini, to serve (optional)
Add ice to a 12-ounce plastic cup and set aside. Put the first four ingredients in a second plastic cup and add the vodka and tomato juice. Pour the mixture into the first cup, then pour everything back into the second cup. Keep pouring back and forth until it is well blended. Squeeze a little lemon, garnish and serve.
My Kids Found My “Private Drawer”
For those times you just want to forget what just happened, try this tangy and spicy Mary.
- 1 shot Dripping Springs Texas Orange Vodka
- 1 shot sake
- 1 tsp. wasabi
- 6 ounces tomato juice
- 1 tsp. dried ginger powder
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- Fresh cilantro to serve
Shake and strain all the ingredients (except the cilantro) into a Collins glass with ice. Garnish with cilantro and drink way the memory of what just happened.
This is My First Really Healthy Relationship
When your heart is going pitter patter for someone special, here is a classic recipe for two.
- Several dashes salt and black pepper
- 1 jigger Starlite Vodka
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1 tsp. horseradish
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 8 ounces high-quality tomato juice
- 1 fresh lemon, cut in wedges, to serve
- Several pickled asparagus spears, to serve
Rim two Old Fashioned glasses with the salt and pepper in equal measure. Combine the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Strain and pour over ice in the prepared glasses and garnish with lemon wedges and asparagus.
The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Stomach, But That’s Not Where I’m Headed
When you’ve conquered the early phases of romance and are ready for the power of time tested aphrodisiacs for a real Sunday Funday, this recipe is for you.
- 46 ounce bottle of tomato juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. steak sauce
- 2 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp. celery salt
- 2 tsp. hot sauce
- 1 tsp. horseradish
- 1 750ml bottle of 1876 Vodka
Excluding the vodka and garnishes, whirl the ingredients together in a blender. Fill pint glasses with ice and 2 shots of vodka each. Top with the tomato mixture, then garnish with an asparagus spear and a stalk of celery.
Whether you are looking for a Bloody suitable for Queen Mary or for something appropriate for a Roman circus, there is a recipe for you in Bennett’s Bloody Mary bible. I know which one I’m mixing next.