There’s nothing better than enjoying a lazy weekend brunch with a Bloody Mary, that classic cocktail made with tomato juice, vodka, spices and seasonings. It often includes Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, celery salt and “a curveball ingredient that is generally left up to the creator,” says Brian Bartels, author of the new book The Bloody Mary ($18.99, Ten Speed Press) and beverage director for New York’s West Village restaurants Jeffrey’s Grocery, Joseph Leonard, Fedora, Perla and Bar Sardine. The curveball ingredient is what makes it so fun for bartenders and hosts to make. Adding an extra dash of Tabasco, a splash of Guinness or a garnish of barbecue cayenne shrimp allows you to let your creativity shine and is the key to a memorable Bloody. Bartels’ book contains more than 50 eclectic recipes, and he shared one of his favorites with us. Try it at your next gathering, and wow your guests with this hint of Southern spice:
Commander’s Palace Bloody
From Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, LA
Commander’s Palace’s Bloody Mary keeps a firm grasp on the original recipe but does a terrific job of making it classic New Orleans. Each one is made with Creole seasoning and Crystal hot sauce, available at many of the neighborhood spots in and around the city, which is an important reminder: If the locals love it that much, say no more. At the restaurant, the garnishes are skewered on a piece of sugarcane, but at home, a cocktail pick will do just fine.
- CREOLE SEASONING, FOR THE RIM OF THE GLASS
- 11Ž2 OUNCES VODKA
- 1Ž2 CUP V8 OR TOMATO JUICE
- 1 TEASPOON PREPARED HORSERADISH
- 1 TEASPOON OR 2 SPLASHES WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
- 4 DASHES CRYSTAL HOT SAUCE (AVAILABLE ONLINE)
- 2 DASHES TABASCO SAUCE
- GARNISH: JALAPEÑO PEPPER, PICKLED OKRA, SUGARCANE (OPTIONAL) AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER AND COURSE SEA SALT
Coat the rim of a pint glass with Creole seasoning. Combine all of the remaining ingredients except the garnish in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Roll the ingredients back and forth with another shaker 3 times, then strain into the rimmed glass filled with ice. Skewer the pepper, okra, and sugarcane on a cocktail pick and garnish. If you like extra seasoning, top off the drink with a pinch of freshly ground pepper and coarse salt.