Sunday, December 19, 2010

Johnny C's Famous Bloody Mary

There has been some dispute as to the origin of the "Bloody Mary".  What is clear is that this popular brunch mainstay was conceived in New York City shortly after Prohibition and likely modified in the late '30's.  I, like most people, avoided ordering the Bloody Mary because it was made too spicy or too thick and would often clash with the meal you were trying to enjoy.  Loving the flavors, but never satisfied with other people's versions, I endeavored to craft a Bloody Mary that would enhance a meal while not burning your face off!  I learned to make this during my time as a barkeep in Newark Airport.  I think I've succeeded!


1 quart Tomato Juice
2 whole lemons
1/4 cup Gold's prepared horseradish
2.5 tbsp Frank's Red Hot sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

First, pour the tomato juice into your pitcher.  Next, slice and squeeze two whole lemons into the tomato juice.  Make sure you've removed the seeds.  Don't worry if you get some lemon pulp in your mix while you're squeezing.  It only enhances the consistency.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and Hot sauce and give your mix a quick stir.

Next, add the horseradish, ground pepper, sugar and salt.  Stir again until everything is well mixed.  I know what you're thinking: "That's it?  It's so simple".  And you are correct!  The beauty of this recipe is that it does not overcomplicate what should be very simple. 

The secret is the horseradish!  Most people make the mistake of using way too much hot sauce, while others will over-spice with cayenne .  These are common mistakes that make most Bloody Mary's un-drinkable.  The horseradish allows you to taste the familiar and desired 'ZING' of a Bloody Mary.  It also lends to an appropriate consistency.  Many Bloody Mary's I've tried are either too thick and lack 'ZING'.  Or they are too thin, and contain far too much hot sauce.  Horseradish solves these problems!  And not just any horseradish- it MUST be prepared horseradish.  I prefer Gold's prepared horseradish.  Avoid creams or specialty horseradish mustards.  You want the thick, slightly chunky almost, prepared horseradish. 

Pour either neat or on the rocks in a tall glass and garnish with celery and lemon wedge!  (Add 4oz of Vodka at your pleasure). 

Enjoy!- John (the special-guest hubby blogger)

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