Spring and summer are great. The weather is warm, I can ride my bike, and it’s suddenly socially acceptable to drink in the morning again. One of my favorite ways to imbibe in the A.M. is a good bloody mary. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen to me, and I have to make mine.

I find that most mixes rely too heavily on store bought tomato juice, which lacks flavor, or on seasonings to doctor it up. The trick to my mix is the beet, fennel, jalapeño, and parsley, which make a really rich tomato juice.

At first glance, the recipe can seem a little overwhelming as there is a fairly long list of ingredients. But, the process is easy. Toss everything into a pot, simmer, puree, chill, drink

While a copious amount of garnish is preferable, we didn’t have any pickles, green beans, or anything of that ilk. Could we have gone to the grocery store? Yes. But, laziness won so we just used citrus, olives, carrots, and celery sticks.

Oh, and we added crispy bacon for a swizzle-stick. Obviously the right decision.

Know this: Don’t skip on the over-night chill. It’s critical to ensure the flavors all marinate and intensify into tastiness.
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix
Adapted from Bon Appétit

Yields 10 drinks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes – coarsely chopped
  • 1 small can of canned tomatoes including liquid – optional if tomatoes are not in season or juicy
  • 1 large carrot – peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery – coarsely chopped
  • 1 large golden beet – peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb – trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño – seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove – chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh horseradish – peeled and grated
  • 2-3 teaspoons black peppercorns – coarsely ground
  • Vooooooddddddddka
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon and lime wedges
  • Pickled vegetables, carrot sticks, celery sticks

Steps

Add tomatoes, carrot, celery, beet, fennel, garlic, jalapeño, and bay leaf in large pot and barely cover with water (about 6 cups). Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes until vegetables are soft.Discard bay leaf. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt, lemon juice, and parsley. Working in batches, puree vegetable mixture in blender until smooth. Cover and chill.

Grind celery seeds with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt in mortar with pestle or in spice grinder. Add celery-seed salt, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and black pepper to vegetable puree. Cover and chill Bloody Mary mix overnight.

Stir bloody mary mix and vodka in large pitcher. Fill tall glasses with ice. Divide bloody mary among glasses. Garnish with lemon and lime wedges, pickled vegetables, and vegetable sticks.

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