Bloody goodness, in a glass
Sunday Funday begins and ends with Bloody Marys in my house. They are the excuse we need to explain how we ended up with pants on our heads on Sunday afternoon screaming at strangers in the street. It starts off innocently enough — brunch with friends after a night out on the town. A good, greasy breakfast to settle the stomach and, oh why not, something to take the edge off that hangover. It all starts with that simple order: I’ll have a Bloody Mary. I recently mentioned to my mother that I was thinking about writing about Bloody Marys. She responded with a resounding “They are your birthright.” I don’t really know what that means, but I can tell you I grew up watching the adults in my family make sure we were stocked up on Bloody Mary mix each vacation.
When I was finally of age, I realized a golden rule of cocktail making: You can mask the taste of booze, but you can’t cover up a mediocre mix.
It can be difficult to find tomato juice not overly sweetened in Korea. Even if you happen to find a decent brand, they tend to have a lot of preservatives and even more sodium. Now that we are in the throes of summer and fresh produce overflows the streets, I have taken to making my own tomato juice at home. It is a simple process as long as you have a pot, a blender and a fine mesh strainer. It keeps in the fridge for about a week and I bet it even freezes pretty well (ice cubes for your Bloody Mary, maybe?).
Make your Bloody Mary mild or spicy; it’s up to you. You could even track down a bottle of pepper vodka and have a real party. I crank up the heat on mine, but I toned it down a bit for the recipe. Do yourself a favor and make the Bloody Mary mix before you head out on Saturday night. You’ll thank me on Sunday, but probably not the following Monday. Cheers.
Homemade bloody Mary
- 2 ¼ cups of tomato juice
- The juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon of gochu garu (Korean red pepper flake)
- ½ tablespoon of wasabi
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Salt and pepper to taste (I recommend at least half a tablespoon of coarse ground black pepper)
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Fill a tall glass to the brim with ice. Pour two shots of vodka over the ice, fill the rest of the glass with the bloody mary mix and stir. Serve with a lemon wedge or celery stick.
Homemade tomato Juice
- 5 cups of cored, roughly chopped ripe tomatoes
- 1 stalk of celery, leaves included roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ an onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup of water
- A pinch of salt
Put the ingredients in a sauce pan and place over medium-low heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables have worn off excess liquid and the mixture is just cooked through. Transfer to a blender and puree in batches. Push the tomato puree through a fine wire mesh seive or strainer. Discard the pulp, seeds and tomato skin and chill. Add water to adjust the thickness.