The Bloody Mary. A brunch staple. The reason I was scared of mirrors as a child. It has recently come to my attention that these can be quite refreshing. Cheap Bloody Mary mixes are not the way to go. The first Bloody Mary I had ever tried consisted of a mix and vodka. Not too sure if a stalk of celery was even involved. Either way I was left quite disappointed by this drink.
Years later I came across someone selling their fresh, gluten free Bloody Mary mix and decided to give it another try. Lauren's Bloody Mary Mix if you ever come across it. They are based out of the Austin, TX area.
I had finally realized the joy of a Bloody Mary. Just like my love for Chicago Dogs, I enjoy being able to put whatever I can think of into these. Bloody Mary bars are so enjoyable and you are left being able to make the drink based upon your palate versus the standard mix and vodka.
There are some decent gluten free Bloody Mary mixes that I have tried. I tend to liven them up with some extra ingredients which we will get to later but my mix of choice is V8 vegetable juice. Yep! Gluten free, cheaper than buying a mix that has to hold up space in your refrigerator and can take on lots of flavor.
To the V8, I like to add some fresh cracked black pepper, celery salt, and a couple dashes of Tabasco. I've even gotten cray with blue cheese salt before. I usually will salt the rim with a mixture of celery salt and pepper.
Fresh vegetables add a lot of dimensions to this drink. Adding fresh chopped cilantro, fresh chopped jalapenos, or pico will add a lot of depth to the V8 juice.
Pickled okra, celery, pepperoncini peppers, are my favorite toppings to go along with this drink. Any pickled vegetable is a great choice.
The secret ingredients
These are probably my secrets that I like to add to the V8.
- Tablespoon of pickle juice, pepperoncini juice, pickled okra juice, or any other canned pickling juice.
- Tablespoon of cocktail sauce. People put horseradish into theirs, I had no horseradish so why not cocktail sauce? It actually helps transform the V8 juice into another flavor.
- Fresh vegetables always liven up the drink. Cilantro, jalapenos, serrano peppers, are all great choices.