A Bloody Mary is an extraordinarily popular cocktail usually containing vodka, tomato juice, and combinations of other spices and strong flavorings that include Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, beef consommé, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt. It has been called “the world’s most complex cocktail” and is certainly one of my favorite drink recipes.
Sadly, most Bloody Marys today are made from a hideously salty pre-made mix with less-than-fresh tomato juice to create a travesty of the orthodox recipe that demands immediate and radical steps to correct!
Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary in 1921, while working at the New York Bar in Paris – which later became Harry’s New York Bar – a frequent Paris hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other American expatriates. Supposedly, the original name was “The Red Snapper” and it was made with gin, not vodka. Over time, it evolved into today’s vodka-based Bloody Mary and a wide range of alternatives. For example, a great low-alcohol version of the Bloody Mary uses Sake instead of vodka – a variant I heartily endorse when required.
Here is my own Bloody Mary recipe – so precious it used to be in the safety deposit box, protected by mystic charms and spirits from beyond the grave (yes, it’s that good). This is a classic recipe that is most satisfying, whether as a “hair-of-the-dog” morning-after hangover cure or just on its own. My recipe is far more complex than most Bloody Marys, and I make no apologies for that – it’s what makes it my own and especially delicious. It also incorporates a tiny bit of beef demiglace to make it closer to the “Bloody Bull” – a variant recipe that was renowned for its healing properties (and also tastes great!).
Renowned as a “morning-after” drink or as a complement to Sunday brunch, a good Bloody Mary truly satisfies – and a great one allows the heavens to part, revealing choirs of angels singing hosannahs amidst the unbridled canopy of the Empyrean. My version incorporates exactly that revolutionary greatness to bring the cocktail into its true pedigree and status of legend! Fresh tomato/vegetable juice, fresh herbs and spices and more than a bit of mixology magic are the hallmarks of my recipe – and those secrets are now yours!
Enjoy this classic cocktail and my specific enhancements to it, my Citizens – and feel free to add or subtract ingredients to meet your specific taste. 🙂 You can buy Taste #5 Umami paste here.
Battle on – The Generalissimo
The Hirshon Bloody Mary
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