Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vive La Reine

Bloody Mary

"For all late night roamers and early risers. The celery stalk lends an air of healthy respectability to this potent breakfast drink."
(from the AMC website)

Welcome to the first installment of Mad Men Cocktails. As mentioned in my previous post, the cocktails featured here were popular during the "Mad Men" era and some were even imbibed on the show.The list I am using comes from the Mad Men site on AMCtv.com.

The Bloody Mary is one of my favorite cocktails, any time. Typically enjoyed at Brunch, Bloody Mary's are very nutritious. At least, that's what I like to tell myself. It's also a great hangover cure.

For such a popular cocktail, it's origins are unclear. The first claim goes as far back as 1921; Fernand Petiot was the bartender at New York Bar in Paris, France (the establishment was a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway). The second came almost twenty years later by way of actor George Jessel.
There are a variety of inspirations for the drink's name. The most popular, of course, is Bloody Mary herself, Queen Mary I of England. But, during the 1920's, many purported that actress Mary Pickford lent her name. And, finally, a waitress who had the good fortune of working at a Chicago establishment named Bucket of Blood.

The drink, at it's most basic, is tomato juice and vodka. But over time, more and more flavorings were added. While there's no rhyme or reason to the ingredients, there are some staples:
celery salt
black pepper
Tabasco sauce
Worcestershire sauce
lemon or lime juice

The Bloody Mary
(as taught by the New York School of Bartending)
1 oz. to 1 1/2 oz. vodka in a highball glass filled with ice
Fill glass with tomato juice
1 dash of celery salt
1 dash of fresh ground black pepper
1 dash Tabasco sauce
2 - 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. horseradish (fresh, or bottled - but never creamed)
Dash of lemon or lime juice

May be shaken vigorously or stirred lazily, depending on how severe your hangover happens to be. Traditionally the drink is garnished, simply, with a celery stalk. But, if you're feeling adventurous, try a skewer of olives, pickles, carrots, mushrooms, etc. How about meat or fish? Throw some bacon, shrimp and salami on there. Cheese? Why not. And, in the South, pickled things are popular - such as pickled green beans and pickled asparagus.

If there's no other option, you can buy pre-made mix and add your vodka. But, really, don't do that.

The lovely thing about Bloody Mary's, is that they can be adapted and changed in pretty much any way. Here are a few:
Bloody Fairy - Absinthe replacing the vodka
Bloody Geisha - Sake replacing the vodka
Bloody Margaret - Gin replacing the vodka

Bloody Caesar - Clamato replacing the tomato juice (very popular in Canada)
Bloody Bull - Beef bullion mixed with tomato juice (created in New Orleans)
Bloody Shogun - replacing the horseradish with wasabi

Bloodless Mary - without tomato juice
Crabby Mary - with a dash of Old Bay seasoning
Slutty Mary - garnished with a sausage or with extra vodka

So, this weekend, enjoy a Bloody Mary (or two)! And stay tuned for the next in the series ... if you're an Elvis fan, you are going to love this.

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