As with most other Collegetown-dwellers, my only goal in life is to fit as many shots of Barton’s into a glass of soda without being able to detect the flavor of alcohol. With brunch beverages, however, that game is somewhat reversed. Brunch is holy. It is a time of reflection and relaxation. It is a sort of “pregame” to the day whether you are consuming alcohol or not. Let’s assume you are.
The Bloody Mary is arguably the second classiest excuse to drink before noon. (The first is mimosas, if you were wondering. Third is Keystone.) Anything other than those three is strictly reserved for enjoyment later in the evening. Luckily this Saturday is an excellent excuse to indulge in some good old day drinking. Did you forget that it’s Homecoming weekend? Here is your official reminder. Before you make your way to Schoelkopf, make sure you properly begin the morning with some lycopene and ethanol.
Now, before I get started on variations of the infamous drink, let’s get familiar with the history. Forget it, let’s talk drinks. The biggest issue with the Bloody Mary is the spice level. Tabasco? Frank’s? Cholula? Sriracha? All of the above? And at what level? No standard recipe can ever be deemed “The Best” because spice preference is too subjective. That being said, add hot sauce to taste. When preparing for a group, add spice conservatively. Or, if you’re the sneaky type, spice the hell out of the batch and keep it all for yourself. Remember to try a variety of sauces for depth.
With spice out of the way, you must next focus on the tomato base itself. If you are a dedicated mixologist looking for an excuse to put off your term paper until tomorrow, you can make fresh tomato juice. That is a lot of effort. Unnecessary, in my opinion. One benefit to making your own would be control over consistency. Store-bought tomato juices do tend to be on the thin side. I don’t have enough patience to worry about it.
Now, the Bloody Mary requires a lot of effort in that it calls for many additional ingredients, most of which have minimal effects on the flavor. Especially when you are on your fourth glass. But hey, we are being classy here, so do not skip the extras. Make sure to add horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon and salt. Again, as with hot sauce, these can be added to fit your taste. Oh, Mary, you just aim to please. Do not forget about toppings! These can range from celery or gherkins and lemon slices all the way to bacon, tater tots and hard-boiled eggs. Tread lightly on your first try, my friend.
Now get out there and start perfecting your recipe! Remember, it’s all in the spirit of Homecoming.
10 parts tomato juice
4 parts vodka (or tequila to make a Bloody Mariah for all you 90s music buffs)
2 parts Sriracha
1 part horseradish
1 part lemon juice
1 part Worcestershire
Salt to taste
Add in finely chopped onion, gherkin, cucumber
Garnish with celery stalk ... and bacon