I did not think I was the type of person to enjoy a Bloody Mary. But it turns out there are two important factors to consider. The first goes along with most any alcohol: it's an acquired taste. A savory alcoholic drink does take perhaps longer to establish a taste for than say, a strawberry daiquiri. And whiskey, well, I've not quite acquired the taste for that one yet. (Barely in a drink, let alone on the rocks.) The other important thing to consider is that there is vast, incredible difference between the mixes you can buy and the fresh, real stuff. There's nothing quite like the burn on your tongue from real tabasco sauce and cracked pepper flakes. The most expensive, pretentious pre-mixed concoction won't taste as good as these ingredients, and it'll probably cost you less, too.
Recipe: Bloody Mary
2 oz vodka 4 oz tomato juice 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon horseradish or spicy Asian mustard (I use the latter, it's perfect) 2 to 3 dashes tabasco or other hot sauce 2 to 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce lemon wedge celery stick
Shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Squeeze the lemon wedge over the drink, and drop it in. Garnish with celery stick. Top with a half-turn of freshly-cracked pepper or even a pinch of cayenne. Enjoy!
Next I'm going to try a Bloody Maria, variation with tequila and cucumber.