So, Iím sitting here typing, approximately 34,000 feet high in the air! Iím on my way to Scottsdale to see my family and as usual the gracious Northwest Airlines flight attendants are coming down the aisles with the usual assortment of mismatched food and drink. I rarely have cocktails in the air (too dehydrating!) and anyway itís 7:00 am, probably just a wee bit early. Since Iíve been up before 3:00am , Iím happy to enjoy my normal airline breakfast of some cheese, whole-wheat crackers and Bloody Mary mix over ice with some fresh lime. Sadly though, the cheese more closely resembles cheese whiz than cheddar and there is no fresh lime or lemon to be found anywhere! Alas, Iím left with a longing so strong that it knows no boundaries for without the lime, my canned Bloody Mary mix tastes just like itís components, tomato concentrate, sugar, brown coloring, onion powder and really bad vinegar.
Its started me thinking about Bloody Maryís though! I love an excellent Bloody Mary; it is the perfect brunch cocktail, a bit like drinking your vegetables only with a grownup kick! I love to make my own mix for them and it changes a bit each time. Sometimes I use tomato juice and fresh clam broth; sometimes I garnish them with shrimp skewers and cucumber. Sometimes I add fresh jalapeno, sometimes I add smoky chipotle. Sometimes I add beef broth, turning it from a Bloody Mary into a Bloody Bull. I love to use fresh citrus fruits; oranges, lemons and limes really do have a wonderful affinity for tomato! Sliced avocado makes a pretty wonderful garnish as well and I always add onions and garlic.
I hope that you are beginning to see that there are many ways to create a delicious Bloody Mary, actually as many versions exist as do the makers of them. For now though I will give you my basic recipe and you can play with it at your leisure. The Bloody Mary is a meant to be drunk in a relaxed setting anyhow like a patio under a large shade tree in Marthaís Vineyard or the Hamptonís at noon. How about the Beach and Tennis Club in La Jolla, California whilst dangling your toes in the sand!
Alas, all of these glorious places canít be gotten to all of the time, but the Bloody Mary is the drink that will transport you there very quickly if itís well made. So I am sharing with you my favorite version, meant to be eaten with savory deviled eggs, fresh crabmeat crepes, mangoes and avocados, all the while dreaming of the California coastline. I hope that you enjoy it!
You will need:
1 clove of minced fresh garlic
2 dashes of celery salt
1 pinch of celtic sea salt
3 twists of freshly ground pepper from a mill
2 slices of finely minced fresh Jalapeno pepper
A generous squeeze of fresh lime
2 good dashes of freshly smoked chipotle pepper powder
About 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon of finely minced red onion
1 teaspoon of roasted red pepper puree
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice, blood oranges are delightful!
Enough really good organic tomato juice or organic V8 juice to fill a good sized highball glass
1 and a half jiggers of good citron flavored vodka
Take the first 10 ingredients and mash them a bit in a bowl with the back of a spoon until you have created a delicious smelling paste
Put the paste in the bottom of the highball glass and add a bit of the tomato juice , all of the orange juice and stir well. Then add ice and the rest of the juice. Give the whole thing a stir with a long handled spoon and season to your taste. I love to garnish this Bloody Mary with skewers of Cajun flavored shrimp and avocado. Pull up a lawn chair, kick back in the sun and shut your eyes. Itís a day for dreaming and youíve got the perfect breakfast!