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Bloody Mary Extraordinaire

August 2, 2021

Pretty much everybody who's ever made, ordered or enjoyed a Bloody Mary has an opinion.

There are the Purists: those who follow Fernand Petiot's original recipe (he was the bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris who, as legend has it, was the cocktail's creator) of salt, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, lemon juice, ice, vodka and tomato juice.

There are the Modernists: those who enthuse about horseradish, lime juice, celery salt, peppered vodka and garnishes ranging from olives to celery to Brussels sprouts.

And the Improvisers: those who pour whatever they have in the fridge into an iced glass, add vodka and call it a Bloody.

It's all good! The wonderful thing about the Bloody Mary is that it's more like food in liquid form than an actual cocktail, so you can relax ~ almost anything goes. And for a hangover? Nothing beats it. Garnish with a chilled cooked jumbo shrimp on a skewer and you have the PERFECT anti-hangover combo: protein, spice (i.e. capsaicin from the pepper, a natural anti-inflammatory), lycopene (a free-radical fighter from the tomato/vegetable juice), tons of vitamins, plus hair of the dog. All that and the Sunday Times crossword will cure almost anything.

Here's a great Bloody Mary recipe using our Carolina Reaper, the Pura Vida! Gourmet Chile Pepper Sauce that happens to be my favorite for this purpose. There's something about the Reaper pepper and the fifteen other choice ingredients that REALLY marry well with the tomato juice ... except I use Trader Joe's marvelous "Garden Patch," which contains a veritable festival of veggie juices, starting with tomato, then carrot, beet, celery, spinach, parsley, watercress, lettuce and green pepper. It also has lemon juice, which is very handy. (It's delicious all by itself, really.)

So here's the recipe: start with a shaker. Add ice, the desired amount of vodka (don't use your Belvedere or Grey Goose; its flavor will be wasted here. I recommend something like the potato vodka Monopolowa, available at Trader Joe's and many other markets. Then shake in five or six good, healthy pops of Carolina Reaper - more if you like more heat. Add a couple of pinches of celery salt and a half teaspoon of horseradish. Now pour in Garden Patch to fill 2/3 of the shaker, and shake vigorously. Garnish with the aforementioned jumbo shrimp, and enjoy.

You're welcome.

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