I was recently reminiscing about my trip to New Orleans, and it made me remember a fun fact about that vacation: it was the first time in my life I had had a bloody mary and actually enjoyed it.
You see, ever since I was a kid, the idea of tomato juice has just totally grossed me out. I think I had one sip, one time, and it was a horrible experience. Which is strange, because I love fresh tomatoes, and of course, brunch (especially a brunch buffet)!
Every year, both sets of my grandparents would meet at my parents and I’s house on Christmas morning for a round of bloody marys (as well as to see what I got from Santa). The very smell of the tomato juice made me want to crawl under the Christmas tree and hide until they were done drinking those things.
Many years later, my trip to New Orleans with friends was a long, wild ride. It was over New Year’s, and let’s just say that there were plenty of parties to attend on Bourbon Street.
However, we also wanted to see the sites of the Big Easy, so we would still drag our butts out of bed in the mornings and walk around town…and walk…and walk. So much walking.
One particularly walking-filled morning, we finally reached our destination – a bar on the far side of town that somebody wanted to go to for some reason. Everybody else was getting bloodys, so I just went for it.
I don’t know if it was the long walk, or the fact that I hadn’t had a properly balanced meal (including vegetables) in nearly a week, but as soon as that drink was set down in front of me, I literally inhaled it.
Nothing had ever tasted so good. I really believe my body must have been craving nutrients, because not only did I gulp down every drop of the vodka-tomato elixir, but I ate every pickled green bean, piece of okra, olive, onion and stalk of celery that it was garnished with.
Firmly on the bloody mary train now (after all, it’s a great source of nutrients!), I knew I needed to combine the savoriness of this cocktail with my favorite breakfast seasoning for my homemade version of a bloody, so I used everything bagel mix to rim the glass.
The bloody itself is started with a generous dose of lemon juice, celery seed and horseradish, muddled together. Then, I poured in some tomato juice (it’s not so scary), sriracha for spice, Worcestershire sauce, and vodka.
When it comes to garnishes for a bloody mary, my opinion is that more is more. Here, not only do I have celery and a big dill pickle, but I also made a quick garnish skewer with lemon, a huge green olive, and a chunk of mini bell pepper. I like my bloodys to be meals in themselves, unless I have a leftover cornbread breakfast casserole in the oven or something.
Seriously, how did I make it so long in life without liking bloody marys?
For the Bloody Marys:
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (save squeezed lemon to use for rimming glasses)
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 2 ounces vodka (or more!)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Splash of sriracha
- 4 teaspoons Everything Bagel Seasoning
For the Garnishes:
- Celery Stalks
- Dill Pickles
- Chopped Bell Pepper
- Green Olives
- Lemon Slices
- Make the Bloody Marys: In a cocktail shaker, muddle lemon juice, horseradish and celery seed until celery seed is crushed. Pour in tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and sriracha; stir until well combined.
- Pour Everything Bagel Seasoning onto small plate. Rub the rims of two glasses with lemon; dip and twist into seasoning mixture until rims are covered in mixture. Fill glasses with ice; pour Bloody Mary mixture over ice. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.