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Marinating your Bloody Marys.

Like most Chowhounds, I'm constantly in search of the perfect balance of ingredients for a Bloody Mary. I made one last weekend that hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying too much attention while I mixed it, I was just throwing it all together while guests were turning up for lunch.

But as best as I can remember it was three parts Absolut to two parts dry sherry (I think the sherry makes all the difference, adding a savoury dryness) then a lot of celery salt, ditto for limes and lemons and I also gave them a little squeeze rather than just chucking them in, quite a lot of Lea & Perrins but not too much tabasco (that's the part I usually overdo). Oh, and I used Clamato instead of tomato or V8 juice. It was just gorgeous! Punchy, tasty, packed with multi-layered flavour.

But then it got better. I made a big jug which only got half finished, so I put it in the fridge and actually forgot about it for a couple of days. After that time to rest, the flavour had improved 1000%! I only had to add new ice to freshen it up.

Just thought I'd share!

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  1. If you made it with Clamato, it's a Bloody Caesar, not a Bloody Mary. Mmmm, I think I will have to have one when I get home. I have never tried it with some sherry.

    1. Absolut peppar is a must for bloody mary's. Not sure about lemon/lime in one, doesn't it make it too citrusy? A good garnish is spicy pickled green beans.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wovermyer

        Hi wovermyer.
        You probably don't need both, I just happened to have both lying on my worktop while I was mixing it!

        I think the dry sherry is the thing that balances it nicely. You can make it as citrussy as you like, but the mellowness of the sherry works with it to make it very tasty!

      2. Just back from New Orleans, where Bloody Marys come with your eggs in the morning. There is a mix there called Zing Zang that beats anything I can make. Love the sherry idea, and will try it tonight- or later this morning... I have used 1/2 & 1/2 OJ with tomato juice, and liked that- squeeze of lime and some Tabasco and salt/ pepper- yummy! Seem to remember that it was called a Sangrita 30 years ago on the west coast of Mexico.

        1. In my youth I bartended and been around dining my whole life. I never heard of things like sherry and OJ in a BM. This is my classic:

          vodka (or gin)
          high quality tomato juice
          celery salt (I like a lot and even dust the rim of the glass)
          Tabasco to taste
          Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire 2x the Tabasco
          horseradish (pure, never creamed) - optional
          lemon or lime
          clam juice (optional - iat the shore areas near NYC they used to open a clam in the drink before serving)
          black pepper - optional

          1. I love all of these non-traditional twists. Thanks for sherrying.

            1. has anyone tried tequila in a bloody mary instead of vodka? i'm not a big fan of vodka so i make mine with tequila and lime. i think i heard somewhere it was called a bloody maria. its a great drink for sunday mornings in the summer!

              1 Reply
              1. re: CinnamonLK

                Love me a Bloody Maria! I agree that vodka is kind of a waste of time. There's a reason why it is called a neutral spirit... it doesn't really get on anyone's side. I do use it to make a bacon jalapeno liquer that I had in Chicago at Bella Bacino on Wacker. They use it for their Bloody Mary's.
                1 quart Everclear (you can use vodka, but this works faster, and can then be diluted with distilled water- as hard as our water is, I use distilled to minimize the minerally taste.)
                1 pound cooked bacon- I use the cooked crumbles from Costco
                Fresh jalapenoes or other peppers, to taste. I just coarsely chop
                Lately I have also added a handful of chopped cilantro and another of chopped celery leaves. Might be getting a little too complex, but try what you like. Chipotles anyone?

                Put it all in a glass, lidded jar and let steep for a week. Taste. If you want more flavor, give it more time. Strain through a tea strainer, then refrigerate. Any bacon fat will go to the top, where it is easy to remove. I send it through a paper coffee filter, too. Whatever you end up with, add the same amount of water. This stuff isn't bad added to beans, by the way. The flavors stay and the alcohol cooks off.

              2. Great ideas on here especially the New Orleans Eggs.. We had an interesting winner at the Twisted Cocktail challenge which we still recall to this day.

                Inspired by every good Londoner’s love of a fry-up, the eventual winner decided to take the twist to a new level with his cocktail and bacon sarnie combo. Alongside a Red Snapper cocktail – a twist on the Bloody Mary made with fresh chillis, juniper berries and gin – came a bacon sandwich jazzed up with his own homemade Beefeater gin brown sauce.

                Talk about amazing...

                1. I love having a pitcher of my BM mix in the fridge for impromptu enjoyment and add the vodka later (current fav is the Hanger One Chipotle - delish). Something I add to my mix that I'm not seeing on here is the juice from my olive jar. Dirty!

                  1. Here's the vegy-intensive recipe from the recent issue of Bon Appetit:

                    plum tomatoes
                    large carrot
                    golden beet
                    fennel bulb
                    garlic clove
                    lemon juice
                    bay leaf
                    celery seeds
                    Worcestershire sauce
                    hot pepper sauce
                    fresh horseradish
                    whole black peppercorns
                    srichara chili sauce
                    1 cup Guinness (optional)

                    vegetable mix is simmered over 50 minutes.

                    Too much trouble? Reactions?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ricodanles

                      And they use the fabulous Hanger One Chipotle Vodka...mmmmm

                      I might try it just for fun but what a lot of work for a morning with a hangover. Definitely something I'd make ahead of time or for a special brunch.