The Bloody Mary

The Bear’s family loves their Bloody Mary’s, particularly on holidays. The Bear makes them individually, even when making several, as it is fairly easy to line up a row of glasses and add the ingredients one at a time to each. If you prefer, I included a recipe for making a pitcher of Bloody Mary mix.

The Bear does not measure, unless he is making a pitcher of mix. Except for the lemon juice, everything is an 8-count or a multiple of 8. Count to 8 while you pour the vodka. Add 8 drops of Worcester sauce and 8 drops of Tabasco. Take a box of pepper, hold it at a slight angle over the glass, and tap it 24 times. Take a box of salt, hold it at a slight angle, and gently shake it 24 times. The original version also had 8 drops of lemon juice, but the Bear prefers a little extra, so uses 10 drops. The horseradish amount depends on your taste. The good thing about a Bloody Mary is that it does not need to be exact. You can vary significantly and still get a very tasty drink. Because people’s preferences vary, you may want to experiment with the proportions to get it the way you like. You can also vary the amount of vodka to make it stronger or lighter.

Because it is a spicy drink, the choice of vodka is relatively unimportant. It seems silly to use a high-priced vodka in the drink when you will not really be able to taste the difference. The Bear uses Svedka, but any relatively inexpensive vodka will suffice.
The Bear’s family always used Sacramento tomato juice, which was carried by Stop & Shop, but it has not been available in recent years. V8 is the Bear’s alternative choice. When you open a new bottle, the tomato juice may have separated a little, which may cause the first pour to be more watery. To avoid this problem, open the top enough to release the vacuum seal, close it back up, then turn the bottle upside down and shake gently for more consistency.

Mixing the drink:
Fill a 16-oz glass 1/2 to 2/3 full with ice
Add vodka (8 count slow pour; to about 1/3 level with the ice in the glass)
10 drops lemon juice (Real Lemon)
8 drops Worcester sauce
24 shakes of pepper
24 shakes of salt
8 drops Tabasco
3/4 to 1 tsp horseradish
Fill glass with tomato juice and stir about 8 times

While no garnish is necessary, a pickled asparagus stalk, green olives, or a slice of lime is fine. Some people like a huge stalk of celery in the drink, but it just gets in the way and is annoying.

Variations:
Virgin Mary: No alcohol
Bloody Maria: Use tequila instead of vodka
Bloody Bull: Use bourbon or other whiskey instead of vodka

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The Bear Knows Best home page:  http://thebearknowsbest.com/
Drinks Menu:  http://thebearknowsbest.com/drinks/

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