Bloody Mary Mix (the vodka end of things)
My brother loves bloody marys, so I thaught I'd make a mix for him for Christmas but not the tomato end of things, I plan to make a flavoured vodka.
Now, due to lots of medical problems there's whole raft of things he can't eat - but the only one I think is relevant here is celery. (unless you think chocolate, spinach, parsley or cheese have a place in a bloody mary).
I'm thinking I could flavour the vokda with chilli, horseradish, worcester sauce, sherry.... can you think of any other additions to liven things up? Cumin perhaps? I may not be able to get my hands on fresh horseradish, so it may have to be bottled grated stuff. And I was thinking a whole uncut habanero for flavour.... I can always dilute it with more vodka of it gets too highly flavoured.
Tomato juice based mixer...hence the term 'Bloody Mary'. Without it I don't really think you can call it as such. It's just going to be some sort of 'cocktail'. I don't really have any ideas for you. You say your bro loves Bloody Marys yet you talk about medical problems/food allergies but even then you aren't sepciifc, like is he allergic to tomatoes??? If not I'd stick to tradition. I use Picante Clamato as mixer (see my Spicy Bloody Shrimpwreck post). And would recommend only that for mixer even in a triditional Bloody Mary.
You don't want to flavor the vodka with things that are better fresh - particular Worcestershire sauce or prepared horseradish.
Sherry? Cumin? What? What? Onion powder okay.
Give him a bottle with a pepper dropped in it, that would be cool - but my experience tells me that you don't get much flavor that way, what you mostly get is heat, because the capsacin is alcohol soluble.
Honestly, I think bloodys are a drink best made fresh. Flavoured vodka is flavored vodka. I have two friends that pre-mix bloody marys to "age" - one does the juice, the other does the vodka. In both cases what I find is an extremely hot, peppery drink and that's about it.
Again a bottle with a pepper floating in it will look neat. maybe if you float a bunch of stuff it would look neater. I don't know how it would taste, but most of the drink is tomato juice. Drop a sprig of dill, a green onion, some cocktail onions and olives, lemon zest and your pepper into a bottle and see how it looks.
Tomato juice based mixer...hence the term 'Bloody Mary'. I don't think what your considering can truly be called a 'Bloody Mary'. You say your brother loves Bloody Marys and then something about food allergies and or medical problems. However you're not very specific. Is he allergic to tomatoes??? If not I'd stick to tradtion. Something about celery allergy? If he's not allergic to asparagas, maybe you might try blanching a couple of stalks and using that instead. They would make for a nice presentation and they have sort of a nutty flavor if you will. As for mixer. I only use and recommend Picante Clamato Cocktail Juice (see my Spicy Bloody Shrimpwreck Cocktail post) or Clamato if one doesn't prefer spicy.
A mix is one thing, an infusion is another. The tomato end of things is the mix, but you can still bring some flavor to the party by using an infused vodka.
I like black pepper. Capsicum too, but chile-based hot sauces are so readily available that there's no real reason to infuse them. Crack a couple of tablespoons of good peppercorns (tellicherry, anyone?) into a liter of vodka and steep for a month or more, shaking occasionally, strain through a coffee filter, and you can give your brother something that goes beyond readily available retail ingredients.
This stuff will give a depth of flavor to a bloody mary that you can't match with fresh ingredients. On the other hand, fresh ingredients are also key to the flavor of the drink; if you want to give a "kit," serve the infused vodka in a gift basket with worchestershire sauce, hot sauce, fresh lemons and limes, and bottled tomato juice.
An unexplored frontier: lemon zest. Might be a great addition to the infused vodka. The fruit on the Meyer lemon tree in the back yard is just starting to get ripe; a full report may be available in a few weeks...
thanks - black pepper and lemon has a nice ring to it.
crt - my bro can eat tomatoes; I was planning to give him the vodka and a 6 pack of tomato juice (clamato is hard to find here in the UK). The list of what he can't eat is extremely extensive due to various medical conditions (they are not allergies) - but basically he has to avoid dairy, and absolutely cannot eat chocolate or dark green vegetables or celery. There are other things on the list that would not effect the choice of ingredients here.