The Ultimate Bloody Mary

I wasn’t going to drink New Year’s Day. Coming off our annual New Year’s Eve dinner, several bottles of wine and 4-ish hours of sleep, I felt a bit wracked. But we arrived at a friends’ afternoon party, the girls were drinking proseco, the boys were preparing sausages for the grill… and my wife, a woman of rare insight and remarkable timing, commented on how good a bloody mary would taste.

the Ultimate Bloody Mary with Niman Ranch bacon stir stick

Aside from a soupbone-size knuckle of fresh horseradish, our hosts were ill prepared for our sudden inspiration. So I drove to the local grocery store and picked up the rest of what we needed. There seemed to be little interest amongst the other guests… that is, until they began to see the bloody marys rolling off the assembly line, glimmering flakes of freshly grated horseradish floating like snow against the ox-blood red. And I spent the rest of the afternoon in the role of bloody mary maker and server (“May I refill your glass, ma’am?”).

Fast forward to the Topanga Dad’s Pancake Breakfast a few weeks later. Along with a bunch of other dads, I was helping turn out pancakes and bacon to benefit our son’s school. A tradition of the pancake breakfast and testament to the good drinking community we live in, there was a bloody mary station in the kitchen for the help. I was making my second mary and one for my friend, Jon, when we realized we were out of celery. Necessity being the mother of invention, Jon suggested we use a stick of bacon instead. And the Ultimate Bloody Mary was born.

Our friends, Nadine and Andrew, themselves connoisseurs of all things delicious,  invited us one weekend out to their beach house — once owned by Steve McQueen — in the north of Malibu. (Every bloody mary story should tie into Steve McQueen somehow.) Arriving, we found Andrew doing a reasonable impression of McQueen in t-shirt and khakis, out on the back deck with his feet up and a bloody mary in hand. “Can I make you one?” he graciously offered before so much as a hello. Nadine and Andrew’s great inspiration for their marys that weekend? Bacon-infused vodka. Another fine contribution to the canon of bloody mary knowledge.

Add bacon-infused vodka to the following recipe for an Ultimate Ultimate Bloody Mary, and you’ll have my eternal admiration. Like other “ultimate” things (i.e. Ultimate Fight Club, etc.), this beverage pushes the limits of what’s in good taste. And yet it tastes so good.

Here, without further delay, is the recipe. Note: wait until your drink is done before eating the bacon. And for an extra decadent bit of bacon flavor, drizzle a teaspoon of the bacon fat into each bloody mary.

*   *   *

Ultimate Bloody Mary

for each drink:
1.5 oz vodka
6 oz Clamato or other tomato-based juice
1 tsp. ground horseradish
a few dashes Worcestershire
a few dashes Tabasco
juice one lemon wedge
1 stalk celery
1 stick cooked bacon
freshly ground pepper

In a glass, pour vodka over ice. Add Clamato, horseradish, Worcestershire, Tabasco and lemon. Add celery stalk and stir. Add bacon, grind fresh pepper over the top, and enjoy.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. g
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 04:19:44

    Oh my.

    Bacon belongs with everything, I think!


  2. paul
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 17:36:35

    I think I hear Steve McQueen trying to come back from the dead to get one of those Bloody Mary’s . . .


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