Bloody Mary/Maria Morning

Brunch Time Again…And Here is a Bonus

As the weather starts to turn the corner (I hope), we see signs of spring starting kick into play.  There are your obvious ones…birds around more abundantly, flowers beginning to  bloom, Mike Shannon is back on the radio and warmer temperatures begin to appear more often…except for that one last late frost…perhaps even a light snowfall! (like today!)

But there are other things that are a little more subtle at signaling the arrival of Spring.

I am referring to a Sunday brunch.  (In a few weeks I will have some suggestions for Easter Brunch for everyone)  It could just be me, but this time of year I tend to think of enjoying Bloody Mary’s at brunch.  Out on the deck…it is still nice and inviting, not too hot.  And the Bloody Mary does not get warm or diluted too quickly.  Often taken for granted, they are a simple, yet complex drink that you can make as exotic as you please.

Now, I know this will surprise many of you…but,I am not trying to be sarcastic… if you can serve up a great Bloody Mary for brunch, does it really matter what the rest of brunch is like?  Whip up an egg dish, almost any kind will do…maybe grill some chicken sausage…or bake some bacon…burn some toast and add an unmistakably delicious Bloody Mary and all is good.

For the record, I do not drink Bloody Mary’s that much.  For the same reason I do not order dessert when I eat at a restaurant.  The desserts at most restaurants (very few exceptions, very few indeed) just do not stand up to those that Diana makes at home.  To me, Bloody Mary’s are kind of the same thing…I have not found many places that make me want to order another, for the first time.

So for this post, I offer up a bonus.  Here are three “Bloody Mary-type recipes”.  Their similarities are slightly different…thank you Yogi Berra for that “Yogi-ism”.  The basic difference in each becomes the liquor…Vodka, Tequila and Mezcal.

Each one must be a very good grade of alcohol…no time for the cheap stuff here…most of us have graduated college…and uh, high school.  (In case you are reading this, and you have not graduated from high school, you realize this does not apply to you!)

The Vodka I chose is Purus.  Perhaps one that you are not familiar with, but you should be…Wine Enthusiast top 50 Spirits of 2010…not too shabby.   A 100% wheat organic Vodka, this provides a clean, smooth refreshing break from all of those other “Vodka of the month” entries that have been popping up for the past few years.  Don’t misunderstand me, there are quite a few very good Vodkas out there on the shelves.  But for the price point and the taste, I choose Purus…and so should you.

Tequila…well that is an open book as long as Atlas Shrugged.  This is another spirit that has exploded in the past few years…and long overdue, I may add, mi amigo.  Like bourbon and scotch, many tequila get their taste from the barrels they are aged in.  (Hint: if your tequila is not aged, put it down and get one that is at least aged one year…as opposed to the time it takes to ship from the factory to your mouth.  Better yet, perhaps you can get a write-off and donate it to a local fraternity) One of the better Tequila’s that I really like is Espolon Blanco.  Up until recently it could only be enjoyed as an “on premise” libation…meaning it was only available at restaurants and bars.  But now, it can be enjoyed in your home, on your deck, yeah, and okay, there too.

With Mezcal, the kissin’ cousin of Tequila…you don’t have as many choices.  Again, being aware of the economy, and my budget, I chose Sombra.  Which by the way happens to be an excellent choice. (Hint #2: If there is a “worm” in your bottle of mescal…go fishing with it…but don’t drink it.  Good mezcal should not have a “worm”.)

So here is my recipe for a bloody rockin’ Bloody Mary, Bloody Maria and Muerto Maria.  In this case, it is open for interpretations, adjustments and substitutions…especially if you do not have an ingredient or happen not to like an ingredient.  All three of these begin with the same Housemade Bloody Mix.  From there the alcohol is added and you can enjoy however and whenever.

Housemade Bloody Mix

3 cups of tomato juice

2 celery stalks

1 carrot stick, large

4-5 pickled jalapeno peppers ( the kind in a jar…El Paso or something like it)

½ of a green or red pepper

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

4-5 large green olives

¼ teaspoon horseradish

3-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

4-6 dashes of hot sauce  (Frank’s is good, Tabasco and Crystal also do a fine job)

Pinch of Ancho Chili powder

Juice of 2 limes

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth

Now that you have the basics…all you need to do is figure out the measurements.  For me it was easy:

Bloody Mary

2 ounces Purus Vodka

4 ounces Mix

Bloody Maria

2 ounces Espolon Blanco Tequila

4 ounces Mix

Muerto Maria

1.5 ounces Espolon Tequila

.5 ounces Sombra Mezcal

4 ounces Mix

The next step in this guilty pleasure is to decide upon what garnish(es) you want to add and where you will enjoy it.

Garnish Suggestions: Lemon, Lime, Celery, Carrot, Radish, Olives, Shrimp, Pickled Okra, Cucumber, Green Onion, and on, and on…actually a very good one is a nice crisp piece of bacon.

Just in case any of you get adventurous, you can always add the Housemade Mix to a variety of other spirits to create some quite interesting versions such as:

Bloody Fairy: use Absinthe

Bloody Geisha: use Sake

Bloody Molly: use Irish Whiskey

Bloody Pirate: use Rum

Okay, you get the picture.  Finally, rumor has it that this drink was originally created to be used as a wonderful “hangover remedy”.  I will let you be the “Bloody Judge” of that one.

As I said, this drink is often taken for granted.  That’s okay, it is just a drink.

But on the other hand, please don’t take for granted your family, friends and loved ones.  That is definitely not okay.

Enjoy your Bloody Life; Love and Be Loved,  I do and am.

Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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