Are you craving summer yet, Eugene?
After days on end of living under a hazy grey ocean of freezing fog that turned the city monochrome, the sun is out and teasing us with thoughts of July. This sunshine won’t last long, and I do hope our seasonal rains will finally arrive and soak the earth as they should, but I just can’t help basking in it all the same.
One of my favorite ways to celebrate this fleeting mirage has been to sip a spicy homemade Bloody Maria. Why a Bloody Maria rather than a Bloody Mary? Well, why drink vodka when you can have tequila! This classic brunch cocktail is actually perfect any time of year. In the summertime, you can make it with fresh tomato juice picked and squished straight from the garden or garnish with thinly sliced jalapenos. When the weather turns cool, a Bloody Maria can warm you up with its wonderful heat while also showcasing the gorgeous pickled veggies you canned over the year. Plus, it’s kind of medicinal with loads of vitamin C and the diaphoretic action from horseradish and hot sauce, which helps boost the immune system. Cough, cough.
For many years I thought I didn’t like Bloody Marys at all, but that was before we started making them at home with good quality ingredients. Making your own bloody mix isn’t difficult and is sooo worth the little bit of extra effort. It’s also a really flexible recipe that can be played with to create unique concoctions. Try using infused booze, like serrano pepper or black peppercorn tequila, some fire cider in place of the hot sauce is amazing, and don’t forget to experiment with the endless garnish possibilities out there – mini burritos, jalapeno poppers, or grilled cheese sliders, anyone?
Here’s how to make the perfect Bloody Maria at home…
bloody maria recipe
2 to 3 oz. good tequila
4 oz. organic tomato juice
1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice
1/2 oz. worcestershire
fresh grated or good quality prepared horseradish to taste
pinch organic celery salt
hot sauce (or fire cider) to taste
fresh cracked organic black pepper and fine sea salt to taste
fresh ice cubes
Garnish: pickled onions, dilly beans, green olives, celery stalk, lime wedge, etc.
Combine all ingredients (minus the garnishes) together in a glass and stir. Add horseradish, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until it tastes nice and spicy and to your liking. Fill a metal shaker with fresh ice. Gently pour your Bloody Maria over the ice in the metal shaker and then pour back into the glass. Do this several times to mix all the ingredients well and to properly chill the drink. Be careful not to let it froth up! Once cold, strain into an ice-filled collins glass and garnish to your heart’s content.