Who doesn’t love a good Bloody Mary? Well, that is the problem because, in my opinion, most Bloody Marys are well, not so bloody good! I did have a great one once. Years ago a friend’s brother made up a batch for a party and they were the best Bloody Marys I ever had! I never figured out exactly what he did to make them with the exact right proportions of heat and spice. So I thought I would do a Bloody Mary tastathon this Sunday morning. I gathered up the recipes I had been collecting over the past holiday season. There was an explosion of Bloody Mary recipes and each one claimed to be the best hair of the dog! I thought I would make a few of these for tasting but on review I had to admit they were all pretty much the same recipe- tomato juice or V-8, vodka, horseradish, Worcestershire, Tabasco, lime juice… all in varying degrees of measurements. So what I did was get 4 pitchers, 3 pre-made mixes- nothing exotic, just the ones you usually find at the liquor store or grocery store, and the fourth pitcher would be my own Bloody Mary made from scratch. I used Trader Joes, Mr. & Mrs. Ts, and Master of Mixes.
Then I put together a brunch menu and invited some friends over for a tasting. Even bikers do brunch, especially when it involves some degree of alcohol. I made sure I had plenty of other drink mixers available and lots of coffee. Brunch is an interesting assortment of anything goes. Some foods I prepared and some I catered in. One recipe that is a keeper is the one I used for Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade. Buying prepared crab cakes is always unsettling. They are never made of real crab and always have too much breading and they are invariably too expensive. I saw this one the other day and thought I would give it a try. In the rush of cooking and organizing all the food I neglected to saute the chopped vegetables before incorporating them into the crab mix and I need to say that I did not follow the instructions for mixing the ingredients. Instead I threw everything into the bowl at once and then let the mix sit in the fridge for the suggested hour before shaping the cakes and then letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning I fried up the cakes and topped them with the remoulade. They were a delicious meld of warm and spicy goodness. No crunch, just tons of flavor and seafood. Everyone loved them. The vegetables were softened by sitting overnight and really did not need the extra cook time. I will definitely make this as a dinner another night and shape the crab cakes into burger like size and serve them with some vegie slaw or other side.
Back to the Bloody Marys…
The mixes were all pretty non-descript and tasted about the same. The favored Bloody Mary was the one I made myself. It turned out very spicy with enough bite to bring on a good eyeball sweat. I love that!! I put plenty of horseradish in it to kick it up and used V-8 instead of tomato juice.
But the favorite drink of the day- sorry Mary!! – was a drink prepared by our friend Tom. He brought a carton full of bottles of champagne, orange tangerine juice, Triple Sec and Grenadine. He even brought his own oranges for garnish. He made a magical Mimosa that had everyone coming back for seconds and thirds and by my own admission maybe even fourths. Thanks Tom. You are invited for brunch anytime!!
Sorry about the picture quality but the curtains were opened and we had some great morning sun that threw lot of shadows and light on the table.
The bottom line in this exercise of home tasting is that homemade IS best and that pre-made drink mixes are really pretty boring. And that everything tastes better when you share it with friends.
Here is a Bloody Mary recipe using wine – wish I would have seen this in time to try it at the party– http://intoxicologist.net/2012/01/barefoot-bbq-bloody-mary/
It’s definitely a unique standout among all the other Bloody Mary recipes out there!
This is the link for the Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade.