I love a good Bloody Mary. As far as I’m concerned, there can’t ever be a better one than the one my friend Louise Leonard used to make at the old place. To watch her was to watch an alchemist, taking various base metals in a frenzy and producing absolute gold. This is not her recipe, but I did steal a few ideas from her here and she deserves massive props.
The reason this is called The Brooklyn Mary is because I made it with ingredients I found at my favorite place to shop for food in Park Slope, the amazing Brooklyn Larder. I’ve heard some folks complain that it’s too expensive but I don’t really agree. It ain’t cheap, but if you shop smart there, you can do really well. And you won’t do better anywhere in terms of getting farm fresh prepared foods. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
Here is the recipe for a pitcher’s worth of these bad boys:
6 to 8 ounces Vodka (depending on what kind of night it was)
20 ounces tomato juice (type not so crucial but it you can find organic or San Marzano all the better)
4 ounces beer (doesn’t matter what kind really)
1 lime juiced
1 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon Pimenton (smoked paprika, but sub the paprika of your choice or even just use crushed black pepper if stuck. I have also used Old Bay for this element of the drink, a Louise trick)
1 tablespoon Saba (grape must, sold at the larder, you could sub a good balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (Larder does their own housemade but this is widely available or you can make your own)
1 tablespoon pickled ramps (Larder makes; this was a funny little idea I had but they tasted good in there, feel free to sub more horseradish)
1 teaspoon celery salt, more to taste (I used housemade from the Larder but you can also make)
several drops of hot sauce, to taste (I used Sriracha I got at the larder. OK, I’ll admit I could have gotten this one cheaper elsewhere).
Various pickles and/or celery stalks for garnish (I got pickled turnips, carrots and radishes from the Larder and put them on a skewer with some chopped up dill pickles)
Take all of the above ingredients except the vodka and combine them in a large pitcher. If you have the time, stick the pitcher in the fridge and allow them to cool and combine for an hour or longer.
Fill 4 glasses with ice. Stir up your pitcher of mix. Add Vodka to the glasses. Fill the glasses up with mix. Garnish with whatever you got: lime and lemon wedges, leafy stalks of celery, and/or skewers of various pickles. You should be good to go. Serve with a small glass of beer back, Wisconsin-style).