Bloody Marys for a Crowd
On Sundays, when cocktail hour rewinds several clicks from 5 o’clock to noon, you can find me in my kitchen mixing Bloody Marys.
As you know, I’m exploring the stories and sharing recipes for quarter-life cocktails here on BGSK, thanks to Stoli Vodka, sponsor of my Cocktail Hour series. (As you follow along here, I hope you’ll also check out Stoli’s facebook page and twitter feed, and visit the Taste channel over at ORGNL.TV, which celebrates one-of-a-kind places, people, experiences–and food.) Next up: the brunch specialty, hangover-curing Bloody Marys.
I drink Bloody Marys on exactly two occasions: out at restaurant brunches and home, when we have friends over for brunch. (How to host brunch.) And when we have people over for brunch, we usually seem to have a crowd. So I thought I’d tell you about the routine I’ve created to mix up not one or two drinks, but a dozen or more.
First of all, the Bloody Mary is a cocktail best made to suit your personal taste. Love hot sauce? Dab it in. Want more brine? Bring on the pickle juice and garnish with olives. Are you really a mermaid? Make a Clamato. If your pantry is bare, you can make a minimal Bloody Mary with fewer fixings that you’d imagine. In my book, the essentials are horseradish and celery, plus tomato juice and Stoli vodka, of course.
So the recipe isn’t hard or anything. But to make Bloody Marys for a crowd, you have to be willing to make a mess. Several transfers of liquid are involved, which means tomato juice dripping all over the kitchen. The important thing is that this can all happen ahead of time, so the counter is neat when your guests arrive.
The process goes like this: mince celery and onion in a food processor. Combine all the rest of the ingredients with the tomato juice a serving pitcher, a huge measuring cup, or a large mixing bowl. Pour a little bit of the juice into the food processor, then transfer the pulverized veggies back into the pitcher. Transfer some the Bloody Mary mix back into the tomato juice bottles. Do math to figure out how much vodka should go into your pitcher. Balance out the vodka with your homemade Bloody Mary mix. Dance around your kitchen. Relax, wash your face, put on a dress. Buzz friends in, throw eggs and hash browns in the oven. Dole ice into glasses. Serve Bloody Marys. Go enjoy brunch!
I’m telling cocktail stories and sharing fun vodka recipes in partnership with Stoli Vodka and their ORGNL.TV site (especially the awesome Taste vertical!). Stay tuned for more drinks in the Cocktail Hour series, and as you follow along here, I hope you’ll also check out Stoli’s facebook page and twitter feed. Thanks as always for supporting the sponsors that make BGSK great!
Savor Stoli Responsibly. STOLICHNAYA® Premium Vodka. 40% Alc/Vol. Distilled from grain. William Grant & Sons, Inc. New York, NY. © 2013 Spirits International, B.V.
Bloody Marys for a Crowd
Makes 12 large drinks
To serve these glamorously, use a large pitcher (100 ounces is ideal, but go with what you have). To serve less glamorously, mix right in the tomato juice bottles. I usually store extra virgin Bloody Mary “mix” in the bottles, then transfer to my pitcher and stir in the vodka as my guests need replenishment.
If you’re serving even more people, I’d recommend making this in two batches rather than doubling it, to spare you a little mess.
6 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 skinny slice onion
9 cups (72 ounces) tomato juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 lemons, juiced
3 tablespoons liquid from a jar of olives, pickles, or capers (optional)
2-3 tablespoons horseradish
1-2 teaspoons Tobasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
2 teaspoons Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups (24 ounces) cold vodka
For the optional garnish, some or all of the below:
Place celery and onion in a mini food processor. Pulse to completely mince them.
In the bottom of a pitcher, large mixing bowl, or large measuring cup, mix together tomato juice, Worcestershire, lemons, olive juice, horseradish, hot sauce, Old Bay, and salt. Pour some of the tomato juice mixture into the celery mixture and process again to really pulverize the vegetables. Return this mixture to the pitcher or bowl. Stir well. Transfer most of the Bloody Mary mix back to your tomato juice bottle and store in the fridge til you’re ready to drink. You won’t be able to fit all of the mix in the tomato juice bottle, since you’ve increased the volume with celery and whatnot, so store any extra in a bowl.
When ready to serve, calculate how many ounces fit in your pitcher. Add the Bloody mix and the vodka in a 3 to 1 ratio, leaving room for ice. Serve in small glasses, with any of the optional garnishes in little cups on the side.