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There's nothing like a great Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning; they're refreshing and packed with vitamins and electrolytes, so they're perfect when you need the hair of the dog. There are endless variants, some of which are so popular as to become cocktail canon, and some places have even turned absurdly garnished Bloody Marys into an art form. We LOVE this bright, vegetal recipe, and we're sure you will too!
In this particular recipe, we chose to make a Bloody Maria (a popular Bloody Mary variant usually made with tequila or mezcal) with one of the lesser-known Mexican spirits: Sotol. Never heard of Sotol? Sotol is an earthy, clear spirit sometimes called tequila's crazy little brother, usually produced in Mexico from the desert spoon plant, though we went with a fellow Texas company. If you can't find Sotol in your area, or simply don't feel like trying a new spirit, a silver tequila, mezcal, or even vodka will work fine though Mezcal will give the cocktail a smokier flavor. Desert Door's Texas made Sotol pairs well with Bravado Spice's Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce to add an earthy flavor to the fresh grassiness of the muddled celery leaves.
Celery leaves are criminally underused; they have a beautifully vegetal, herbaceous flavor that can brighten almost any dish. Next time you have some celery, clip the leaves and toss them in a salad, or use them to make a bunch of Bloody Marys. Here we used about 3-4 leaves and muddled them well into the Desert Door Sotol. Again, if you don't have access to Sotol, a light Mezcal or Tequila will do just fine. The liquor should turn slightly green once you're done muddling the leaves. If your celery came with leaves trimmed, you can use a 1-2" piece of celery stalk and muddle that.
Since we started Bravado Spice years ago, people have told us that we should consider making a Bloody Mary mix, and one day we might. But in the meantime, Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce may be the BEST hot sauce out there for making a Bloody Mary. The tomatoes' sweetness, the Serrano peppers' heat, and the vegetal basil flavors add everything you could want to a perfect Bloody Mary.
Now there is some discussion regarding the best tomato juice variant to use. After extensive testing, we decided we liked the Clamato's spice and brininess instead of plain tomato juice, or V8. V8, in particular, we found to be too heavy for a bright, refreshing cocktail.
Use fresh lemon juice and lime juice if you can. It makes a brighter and more flavorful Bloody Mary. You'll also notice that we added a bit of olive brine to the Bloody Mary. If you're in an absolute pinch, you can add a bit of dill pickle brine or even caper brine instead, and it'll be fine. Salt=electrolytes and electrolytes are critical when you're dehydrated.
Use the biggest ice cubes you have when you make your Bloody Mary, and be sure NOT to shake it. Shaking the cocktail will create too many undesirable ice chips. We want to cool the drink while watering it down as little as possible. If you use a bar spoon, we recommend using the back of the spoon as you will otherwise have to keep rotating to spoon while you stir. You can also use a chopstick or stirring stick.
We kept the garnishes simple on this one. A quick google image search for Bloody Mary Garnishes can offer, uh, "inspiration" if you want to attempt to match the depravity that goes on in a Bloody Mary competition. We chose to garnish with a lemon wedge, an olive, and a bit of pickle. We hope you love this recipe as much as we do.
1/2 oz - Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce
1 1/2 oz - Desert Door Sotol
3-4 oz - Clamato
3/4 oz - Fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz - Fresh lime juice
1/2 oz - Olive brine
3-4 - Celery leaves
4 dashes - Angostura bitters
1 pinch - Black pepper
1 pinch - Celery salt
1 - Celery stalk
- (optional) Olives and cornichons for garnish
Using a pint glass or shaker glass, muddle the celery leaves in the sotol until the liquor develops a very light greenish tinge. Then add a few large blocks of ice.
Add the Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce, Desert Door Sotol, lime juice, lemon juice, black pepper, celery salt, olive brine, Angostura bitters, and Clamato. Stir well with a bar spoon, stirring stick, or even a chopstick for about 30 seconds.
Use a cocktail strainer to strain the drink into a new glass with fresh ice. Garnish with the celery stalk and any other garnishes you like. Enjoy!