yes, yes, yes, I know, the real Bloody Mary fans make their own from scratch and would never use a mix. But the recipes always call for too many ingredients (see below), too much work (“slow roast the ancho peppers until they achieve a rusty-hue and dank, biting smell”), or too ridiculously difficult to find items (“fresh baby oysters from France’s Normandie coast”). I like a good mix, a simple vodka, and a pickle, with maybe a shot of hot sauce for the second round…
Or, if you have to, follow Eric Shimp’s recipe…and you’ll have to ask him for it, because it was two pages long and I lost it….(UPDATED – RECIPE BELOW)
Eric Shimp’s Bettendorf Blood Mary
6 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon celery seeds
3 tablespoons grated fresh or prepared horseradish
2 quarts tomato juice, chilled
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups pepper vodka, chilled in the freezer
Celery stalk, for serving
Cucumber spears, for serving
Handful fresh cilantro, for garnish
Combine the lime juice, celery seed, and horseradish in a pitcher. Muddle the mixture with the end of a wooden spoon to blend and break up the celery seeds. Pour in the tomato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together to combine.
Divide the vodka among 6 tall, chilled glasses filled with ice. Fill the glasses with the bloody mary mix, stick in the celery and cucumber and garnish with the cilantro. Give the bloody mary a good stir and serve.