I often refer to this as the Breakfast of Champions. But actually I can drink a bloody mary at any time of day because I love them! Honestly, how many cocktails can you think of that are packed with this many vitamins and nutrients? It's a meal in a glass (with a little kick!).
Today I had my last Boot Camp class - I've been going every Sunday in August at 7am in Kenwood Park. It was a stretch for me, I usually don't like to "work out" and instead I prefer my scenic lake walks. But I felt the need for a late summer challenge and I'm proud that I went every week and worked my butt off. I contemplated going to the bakery to reward myself this morning but decided a bloody mary was a healthier, yet still indulgent treat!
The amazing crop of tomatoes this year seems a perfect reason to make my own veggie-packed bloody mary mix. If I was ambitious, I'd can a bunch of it - but that seems like too much work. This recipe yielded 4 pints of mix - one for the fridge and the other 3 went into the freezer.
Now that I've made bloody mary mix from scratch, I can give you this advice: you can't go wrong. If you already like bloody marys, just add veggies you like, and the level of spiciness you can handle. It will taste good with vodka, beer, or just plain.
The only trick is how thick or runny you like your bloody marys. I usually prefer my bloodies thick and chunky so I didn't strain my veggies. There ended up a few strings of celery in my finished drink, which I don't mind but you might. If that's the case, just use a fine mesh strainer and push the mix through with the back of a spoon, then discard the leftover pulp.
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix (adapted from Charleston Magazine)
10 local in-season ripe roma tomatoes (or any mixture of ripe tomatoes - about 4 lbs), roughly chopped and cores removed
1/2 cup water
3 ribs celery, including leafy parts, chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp horseradish
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp celery salt
10-15 leaves fresh basil
1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
hot sauce, to taste
Mix first 10 ingredients (veggies, water, sugar, and salt) in big pot. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely.
Add remaining ingredients and mix together.
Working in batches, blend thoroughly in blender or food processor. I added about 1 cup of water to thin the mixture to my desired consistency while blending (now that I think about it, veggie broth would have been good too!). If it's too chunky or thick for you, strain. Refrigerate or freeze.
To drink, serve over ice. I like to add a shot of vodka, a splash of beer (for the fizz), a teaspoon each of pickle and olive juice, and and a few extra drops of hot sauce. Garnish with something pickled and/or celery!
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