Aug 22 2011
My friend Noelle has introduced me to many things in the 11 years I’ve known her: The Firm workout DVDs, Snood, hair straightening and Ricky Martin are among the things (that can be mentioned publicly) that enrich my life thanks to Noelle. The most recent life-enhancement she’s brought me is the Bloody Mary. Whether it’s brunch, a doggie playdate or a day at the beach, day-drinking doesn’t feel awkward and boozy if your vodka is mixed with good-for-you veggies and wake-you-up spices.
My new affection for this drink, plus a boatload of tomatoes in last week’s CSA plus a recipe from our farm manager for cannable tomato juice made for the bones of this Bloody Mary Mix named after our CSA farm.
Sunrise Bloody Mary Mix
Adapted from Marian’s Family Tomato Juice (CSA recipe)
Makes 5-6 pints
- 4 qts tomatoes, washed, cored and halved (removing skins and seeds is optional for a smoother texture)
- 1 large green pepper, seeded & quartered
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 2-3 celery inner stalks with leaves
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp prepared horseradish*
- 1 tsp hot sauce*
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Bottle lemon juice
Place tomatoes, green pepper, onion and celery in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven (5-6 qt). Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently about 25 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables lose their structure. Puree vegetable mixture (I prefer an immersion blender for this but a regular blender will be just fine if you work in batches) then add remaining ingredients*, stir thoroughly and return mixture to a boil. Cook another 5-10 minutes at a low boil, tasting to adjust seasonings. Add 1.5 Tbsp of lemon juice to each hot, sterile pint jar then ladle the bloody mary mix in, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two piece lids and process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.
*I’d recommend adding these seasonings a little bit at a time and tasting to accommodating your family’s tastes. It’s far easier to adjust for under-seasoning (even after you’ve canned and are about to enjoy your cocktail months later) than it is to adjust for over-seasoning.
Mmmm, spicy and sunny at the same time–the heat from the hot sauce plus the kick from the horseradish is such a perfect underscore to that bright veggie background. It’s so much more garden-y than store-bought tomato juice (if you’d rather just have the tomato juice, leave out the celery seed, Worcestershire, hot sauce and horseradish). You can certainly drink it fresh from the pot but a note for those who are canning this stuff: it’s totally natural for some of the tomato water and tomato solids to separate in the jar, just shake or stir vigorously to resuspend everything before serving. The rest is easy: add vodka to your liking, ice and serve.
I’d love to say that maybe I’ll be returning the favor and introducing Noelle to canning but I know that’s never going to happen. I’ll settle for simply introducing her to the mix to our next brunch.