All hail Mary — Bloody Mary, that is. If you haven’t already picked up the January “Saveur 100” issue, then you missed the blurb on The Versatile Bloody Mary, which extols the virtues of “bloody marys with pickled okra, ones made with beer or tequila instead of the standard vodka, and others with green tomatoes and herbs. Some, spiked with beef stock or studded with raw oysters, taste like a meal. And let’s not forget the delicious classic version, made with lots of horseradish, fresh lemon juice, celery salt, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and just the right balance of vodka and tomato juice.”
I’ll add to that list some of the amazing Bloodies I’ve known and loved- made with cachaca, for example, or golden heirloom tomatoes. Or the stunning “inside-out” Mary made with a frozen tomato cube floating in a sea of clear spirits, or wonderful, edible garnishes like skewered bocconcini-and-cherry tomatoes, pickled stringbeans, or smoked meats.
If you’re a Bloody Mary fan, may I also recommend the “Bloody Merries” blog, supposedly a precursor to a not-yet-birthed book by the same name. Unfortunately, the blog hasn’t been updated in some time, but if you can get past the offputting list of “Bloody Marys That Never Should Have Been” section at the top (“The Chewy Mary” – need I say more?) there’s a wealth of good stuff within, such as a recipe for Bloody Mary Pumpkin Seeds, frozen Bloody Mary slushies, and a fun riff on using meat rubs, lime salt, or even crushed Doritos to rim drinks.