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My fondness for bloody marys started when I first began flying places on airplanes as an adult, alone. First, I ordered tomato juice. Feeling pretty mature and urbane. Then I started ordering plain bloody mary mix. Because I was not yet old enough to order alcohol. But as soon as I was, I began ordering proper bloody marys on airplanes. And then in airports.
I don't limit my bloody mary consumption to air travel anymore. But something about them evokes that low-grade excitement I always feel when I'm about to get on a plane. I may not only travel for pleasure, but a bloody mary feels like a vacation in a glass, and learning to make them taste just as I like them has been a joyous pursuit.
You can tell from my ingredients list that I like the sweet and sour and salty. And that I make a great bloody mary bar, when the social occasion permits. This recipe is a gentle suggestion, but you can really add whatever flavors you like. Do you like cumin? Add it! Do you like fresh horseradish? I don't! Too chunky! But if you do, add it! If you want to put some bacon in it, go for it! If you want to skewer a whole fried chicken and stick that in it, you will not have been the first! You can make your bloody mary lean towards barbecue or seafood or towards Asian or Mexican or Thai. You can make it spicy or not. It's entirely up to you, and if your creation never tastes the same way twice, that's absolutely fine. The only immutable rule is that you love the way it tastes!
5 oz tomato juice
3 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka
½ oz Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce
Juice of ½ a lime wedge
Dash of Tabasco Pepper Sauce
Dash of olive brine
Dash of cocktail onion brine
Dash of dilly bean brine
Dash of pickle brine
Celery salt to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Onion powder to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Fleur de sel (I infused mine with sichuan peppercorns)
½ lime wedge for garnish
Cornichon for garnish
Cherry tomato for garnish
Cocktail onion for garnish
Pitted cerignola olive for garnish
Dilly beans for garnish
Pour a layer of fleur de sel or kosher salt on a small plate. Take clean, chilled pint glass and wet rim, then dip or roll the rim of the glass in the salt. Add ice to the glass, careful not to dislodge the salt rim.
To prepare garnish: Place lime, cornichon, tomato, onion, olive, and/or other desired vegetables, (preferably pickled) on a cocktail pick. Dilly beans can be added directly to the cocktail. If you like celery, feel free to use it. I've always been of the mind that celery just displaces too much liquid, meaning you get less drink, and that is unacceptable. To me.
Pour tomato juice into a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and all other ingredients. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into glass using a cocktail strainer. Add assembled garnish and dilly beans. Serve with a straw, if desired.