Tomatoes are in peak season right now, so we wanted to take advantage of the harvest with a twist on the oh-so-popular Bloody Mary cocktail. Spicy, flavorful and full of color, Bloody Marys are the perfect adult-beverage to ease the seasonal transition from late summer to early fall.
One of the best things about this cocktail is the diversity of garnish options. From a juicy stalk of celery to an entire slice of peppery jerky, Bloody Marys come with all kinds of inspiring accoutrements. And while we are fascinated with all the different possibilities, we thought it might be fun to play around with the flavor of the spirits too.
- Vodka of choice
- Clean pint-sized canning jars
- Flavorings (we used jalapeno, bacon and garlic)
- Lids and bands
- Personalized Favor Tags
- Add a few cloves of peeled garlic to one of your mason jars and pour your vodka over the top. Let the jar sit for 3-5 days in a cool, dark place to let the flavor fully develop. Serve as-is or pass through a strainer to remove the garlic and any accompanying solids.
- Pan fry 4-5 strips of bacon until crispy. Submerge the strips in a pint jar with the vodka and close with lid and band. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 days so the vodka has enough time to absorb the bacon flavor. Remove the bacon strips and place the jar in the freezer for 45 minutes. Remove from freezer and strain the vodka through a coffee filter to remove the now-solidified fats and other bacon solids. Store strained bacon-infused vodka in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Remove the stems from two large jalapenos and slice in half. Remove the pith and seeds, and submerge in a pint jar with the vodka. Close the jar with your band and lid and let sit in a cool, dark place for up to a week. Once the vodka is infused, remove the jalapenos and strain to remove any solids.
Once your infused-vodkas are prepared, all you need is a killer Bloody Mary mixer to complete your mix-and-match flavor fest. You could, of course, purchase your favorite pre-mix, but since we’re knee-deep in our own ruby red vine-ripened tomatoes, we thought we’d make our own.
Sure enough, a delicious homegrown tomato makes an equally delicious Bloody Mary mixer. Plus, it’s even more fun to make from scratch because you can tweak the ingredients to suit your tastes. For example, if you want more spice, add another teaspoon of horseradish or hot sauce. If you want a more savory flavor, add another dash or two of Worcestershire sauce. Feel free to experiment until you’re happy with the flavor.
- 3½ lbs very ripe garden tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 1 large lemon or lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon steak sauce (we used A1)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- A dash or two of hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Slice tomatoes and place into a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a simmer and cook (uncovered) for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Force tomato mixture through a sieve or food mill. Pour into a large pitcher and add the lemon juice, brown sugar, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, pepper and salt. Stir until well combined and taste for salt or spiciness. Adjust ingredients as necessary.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight for best flavor. Will last for up to a week refrigerated.
Now that you have your infused-vodka and Bloody Mary mixer, it’s time for the best part: the taste testing! Just pour one part vodka to three parts Bloody Mary mixer over ice, and garnish with pickled asparagus, dilly beans, fried bacon, stuffed olives and more! Watch the video below for a little demonstration.
Enjoy! What’s your favorite Bloody Mary garnish?
Used In This Project:
More Drinks and Cocktails:
The GBC (Gin, Basil and Cucumber) The Bee’s Knees Cocktail The Rhubarb Mojito Homemade Bitters
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