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For a city who so prides itself for being full of experienced heavy weights in the area of educated cocktail enjoyment, Savannah sure does lack a necessary piece to its resume: A Quality Bloody Mary. But fear not fellow Bloody Fans!! A recipe follows after I rant on the Epic Fails of our town in this endeavor!!
I have lived here for two and a half years and have recently given up my search for the elusive "Home-Made" Bloody Mary in this town. I cannot count how many times I have been told, "We have the best Bloodies in Savannah!" before watching some local yocal pull out a bottle of Zing Zang (actually it is 74 times, I have been counting). SERIOUSLY!?!?!? You are going to sit there and tell me how amazing and original your Bloody Marys are, and then pull out a bottle of mix? How do you look at yourself in the mirror? I say that's a sorry excuse for originality. Ok, I get it, you put celery and a couple olives in it. Maybe even some pickled okra and cherry tomatoes. So original. You are one-of-a-kind now, Bartender. What's that? You are only going to charge me $9.50? Wow! What a steal! You put vodka and bloody mary mix into a glass and you are charging me how much?!?!
And don't tell me "…but you haven't been to Tubby's on the River or Sapphire Grill". Um, yes I have, and I hate to rain on your parade, but Tubby's and Sapphire Grill both use Major Peter's Mix. Trust me, I watch with a very keen eye when I am told that I am about to get "the most amazing Bloody Mary in town." Especially when I know it is going to cost me no less than $10. Truly pathetic.
At Sapphire Grill it was literally a show going on before my eyes. There was so much hype I felt like I was about to watch Cirque du Bloody Mary or something. It started off with me inquiring about the quality of their concoction when I was immediately instructed by everyone seated at the bar that they were like nothing I had ever experienced. So I proceeded to order one.
After 15 minutes of watching this self-righteous Bloody Mary Champ cut up every pickled vegetable he could find and shove blue cheese into it, he whipped out his super secret weapon - the mix. Major Peter's Mix to be exact. NEWS FLASH: Major Peter's is a mass produced product (like Zing Zang) which is sold in practically every grocery store I have ever been in. Therefore your Bloody Mary "recipe" is the furthest thing from "original" buddy! There is no secret to how you pour Major Peters into a glass of ice and vodka. Listen closely Todd, Chad, or whatever your name was, "I am not drinking a jalapeno with cheese crammed into it. I want vodka and I want spice…… to drink, not to eat." Oh, and it was $15. Thanks Skyler.
I have worked in many a bar in my day and have seen a Bloody Mary done RIGHT on several occasions, just not in Savannah. But there is hope my fellow Savannahians! Back at the lab I have been making and perfecting the most exquisite Blood Mary myself for six years now. And I feel, for the sake of mankind (and by "for the sake of" I mean to keep me from strangling the next bartender who pulls out a bottle of Zing Zang and calls his recipe original), I am going to reveal my secret recipe. I developed this recipe over the years from working in Charleston at places like Gene's Haufbraw and Shem Creek Bar and Grill. It is meant to be made quickly and effectively for tailgates or trips to the beach. But I have yet to come across a better recipe in any establishment in Savannah. So here it is:
What you need:
Seagrams Extra Smooth Vodka
32oz Clamato Juice
Old Bay Seasoning
Prepared Horseradish (not the creamy stuff)
1. Open your bottle of 32oz Clamato Juice. I use this for the base because it is very liquidy, which keeps the thickness down and makes it possible to drink multiple Marys at one sitting. I mix everything directly into the Clamato bottle itself except for the Vodka. Like I said, this is made to be portable and the bottle can screw shut when we are done.
2. Add 2 healthy teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning. I have experimented with celery salt mixed with seasoned salt and multiple other combinations and in the end I decided to use Old Bay because it had everything in it that I wanted to put in the bloody and its already mixed.
3. Next add a very healthy teaspoon of Horseradish. Shake well and essentially we are done wit the mix. Like I said, keep it simple!
4. Add Seagram's Extra Smooth vodka to a short glass with ice. I use Seagram's Extra Smooth because when making a bloody you do not need to use expensive vodka. No one will ever know the difference. You could also substitute Absolut Peppar but Seagram's Extra Smooth is very good tasting for the price. $12 liter, cant beat that!
5. Next garnish with several olives, a lemon and a lime, and stir it with the celery.
6. If you want to class it up you can dip the rim in lime juice and then dip it into some Old Bay. Kind of like salt to a margarita. You can also garnish with a boiled shrimp if you want to be super-classy.
I believe my humanitarian act of the year is now officially taken care of. You're welcome world!