Secret Ingredient Bloody Marys


Early in the week, I posted about Bloody Marys to drink at restaurants and bars around town. Now, I’m contributing to Stoli’s round-up of homemade Bloody Marys, stirred up by foodies in cities across the country. As expected, I’ve got a recipe inspired by New York City–and by people like me, those who live and drink our Bloody Marys here.

New York is a city of layers. The Big Onion, not the Big Apple. You might find the surface charming–those West Village cobblestone streets!–but then discover the grit of the C train. Or perhaps the first layer turns you off with its crowds and grime but then you ride up the elevator somewhere in Chelsea and catch sight of the water towers at sunset. The innermost layers are hardest to find, and fun because of it–the emptiest corners of the park for frisbee and the only good bar in Times Square, the supper clubs and the Saturday night dance parties in the back rooms of apparent coffee shops.

Likewise, no matter how much a Bloody Mary appears to be a glass of tomato juice, the true deliciousness lies in the tiny pinches of this and that, under-the-surface ingredients that turn the glass into something extraordinary. In my Bloody Mary, as in New York, some of the charm is right there on the top layer, like the avocado garnish. But you can’t see most of it, and you just have to trust that the umami-rich fish sauce, the spicy pickle brine, and the pinch of rich smoked paprika are there. Until you taste the drink. Then you know it’s good.

This post was sponsored by Stoli. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep Big Girls, Small Kitchen delicious. Check out Stoli’s coast-to-coast search for local Bloody Mary deliciousness by following #SearchforMary. Savor Stoli Responsibly. STOLICHNAYA® Premium Vodka and Flavored Premium Vodkas. 37.5%-40% Alc/Vol. (75-80 proof). Distilled from Russian Grain. Stoli Group USA, LLC, New York, NY ©2014 Spirits International, B.V.


Secret Ingredient Bloody Marys
Makes 2 drinks

1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon liquid from a jar of pickles, preferably spicy
1 teaspoon horseradish
dash hot sauce
dash fish sauce
pinch salt
½ cup cold vodka

For the garnish:
1 celery stalk, halved vertically and horizontally
2 green olives
1 spicy pickle, halved vertically
6 pickled jalapeno slices
2 cubes avocado

Place celery, onion, and smoked paprika in a mini food processor. Pulse to completely mince them.

In the bottom of a large measuring cup, mix together the tomato juice, lemon juice, pickle brine, horseradish, hot sauce, fish sauce, and salt. Pour some of the tomato juice mixture into the celery mixture in the processor and pulse again to really pulverize the vegetables. Return this mixture to the pitcher. Stir well. Add the vodka. Serve in two ice-filled glasses (or mason jars, natch). Garnish with celery, green olives, pickle spears, jalapeño slices, and avocado.

Posted in: Cocktail Hour
  • Raphaelle

    The fish sauce made me think – are you familiar with the Caesar? It’s basically a Canadian version of the Bloody Mary, but instead of using tomato juice we use Clamato, a blend of clam broth and tomato juice. Usually, you add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and celery salt.

    • Karen Coghlan

      I love Clamato instead of plain Tomato juice in anything…

  • Ninfa Arana

    it’s basically a salad with fish sauce. I like.

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