The ‘Bloody Mary’ of my time was Mary Johnson, my girlfriend from the second grade to the end of the fifth grade. That following summer, she dumped me for an older man (a seventh grader). She was none too delicate in doing so, and she seemed to actually enjoy it. She not only broke my heart, but she beat it to a bloody pulp – or so it seemed at the time.
But now to the business at hand. I have had some terrible bloody marys in my day, to the point where I won’t order them when we are out. They always seemed to have a funny chemical taste to them that I didn’t like. I have also had several renditions of my own over time, but they were never quite right.
I recently revisited my quest for the perfect bloody mary. I’ve added three things that I think make a big difference: clam juice, balsamic vinegar, and rimming the glass with a celery salt/kosher salt combination.
Chill all your drink equipment ahead of time.
12 oz Tomato juice
4 oz Clam juice
(these two mixed are better than the bottled clamato)
A squeeze of Lemon
1 Tbsp Horseradish
Louisiana Hot sauce to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Black pepper to taste
Kosher salt to taste
Dust with Celery Seed
Dust with Paprika
Assemble ahead of time. Stir and put in refrigerat0r. Give it several hours to ‘get happy.’
Dip the rim of glass in water and then ‘rim’ with a mixture of equal parts kosher salt/celery salt. Chill.
8 oz of mix
2 oz of vodka
Shake in ice cubes and strain. I think melting ice in the glass during the drinking dilutes the flavor. It holds its flavor at room temperature, and I think it becomes more flavorful.
And serve unadorned in a 12-oz glass. No celery. No olives. No other B*** S***. The drink is so good and so perfect; I think it deserves to stand alone. So, show it some respect.
NOTE: Make fresh the day it is to be served. It loses something overnight, and the taste is a bit flat the next day.