Theres nothing like a Bloody Mary in New Orleans: hot and spicy, tangy, with a little Cajun pizzaz!
The question I get asked the most is “What do I like to make/What do I make best?” As ANNOYING as this question is, I usually run through the New Orleans favorites, like hurricanes, Moscow mules, and bloody marys.*** On the common occasion that people choose a bloody mary (BM), they fall in love after the first sip. I have NEVER had a bloody mary turned down or that was discredited. When people see me making a BM for someone else, using THIS recipe, they immediately want one. Living in New Orleans, I’ve made a lot of them. Sometimes, people will come back for someone else’s BM, try mine instead, and like mine MORE. I credit this success to my secret ingredient, but we’ll get to that later; let’s start with the materials:
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
(For 1 drink)
- 2 oz. vodka
- 3-5 oz. bloody mary mix
- hot sauce
- salt and pepper
- lemon and lime
To dress (optional)
- pitted olives
- pickled green beans
- picked okra
Olives and green beans are very popular to use in bloody marys. In some bars, they are stocked solely for that one type of drink. It is an ode to the Cajun cuisine, which heavily uses green beans and okra in its dishes.The brand we use for green beans and okra at my bar is Cajun chef, which can be ordered online here.
Brand choice is very important when making a bloody mary. Each brand of BM mix has a different taste and texture. Some are thick and chunky while others are light and juicy. Some are hot, and some are not. The brand I choose to use is Zing Zang. I have tried at least 5 other brands and this is the one I prefer. It also gets the most customer appreciation. You can purchase Zing Zang here.
Another important ingredient is hot sauce. It delivers the extra spice and flavor needed for true New Orleans-style. The brand I use is Crystal. I like it better than Tabasco because it has less spice, more flavor. Crystal hot sauce can be ordered here. If I don’t have Crystal, then I will grab my personal green pepper Tabasco, which is what I personally like in bloody marys and everything else, too. Red pepper hot sauce blends in better with BM mix.
Let’s move on to preparation!
1 – In a pint glass, or any 16 oz. glass, add ice and vodka.
2 – Next I add about 1-1.5 oz. of my SECRET INGREDIENT! But, as I said before, later…
It turns the drink this alien green color. This is usually when the people watching me make the drink all go “Oooh, what is that? What are you making??”
Think you know what the ingredient is?? You probably dont…
3 – Add about 1 oz. of worchestershire and between 3-8 shakes of hot sauce. The minimun amount of shakes to actually incorporate the appropriate amount of flavor from the hot sauce is 3. The rest of the pumps are for heat level. If you like really spicy bloody marys, then go ahead and throw in about 5 to 10 or more pumps. You’ll get that burn you’re looking for! If it’s too hot, just add some salt to taste.
Then it looks like this.
And then, all the other people watching who weren’t watching before are all watching. And someone has probably changed their drink order to a BM now.
4 – Fill the rest of the glass with bloody mary mix.
5 – Add a lemon and a lime slice. Then, add about half a teaspoon of pepper for more flavor.
6 – Shake, shake, shake!
7 – Time to dress the drink. This step is optional. I like to add my olives and okra on a fancy toothpick to make it look classier. The beans are too small for the toothpick so I add them last.
Et voila! The Bloody Mary!
OH WAIT.. I guess you wanna know what the secret ingredient is, huh? So, what’d you guess? Olive juice? Nope, the ingredient is too neon green to be olive juice. Pickle juice? Close, but no. You give up??
IT’S THE JUICE FROM THE SPICY BEANS! It tastes WAY better than regular olive juice. And they are spiced, so it adds extra flavor from the peppers in the jar. If you go look at the picture of the beans, you’ll see the peppers sitting in the bottom of the jar. It makes the drink all extra good! And customers love it!!
If you cant buy the cajun spiced beans and okra, then regular olive juice will suffice, but it won’t be as good.
***The reason I hate being asked “What do I like to make/What do I make best?” is because the question is TOO BROAD. And most decent bartenders can make an array of great craft cocktails. How do you expect me to sum up my three years of experience into ONE DRINK?? And did you ever think about the fact that it may have something in it you dont like? And as far as what it like to make… I like to make everything. That is why I’m a bartender. And most bartenders hate making great drinks frequently when there is high customer volume because they usually take a lot of time to make, which means you should tip more! Especially if they SUGGEST it!
Whew! Now that I got that off my chest..
I also want to add the fact that I HATE DRINKING BLOOD MARYS. But, I love my own recipe! I practiced and would make them until I, myself, liked what I made. Now everyone likes it! And everyone will love yours, too!
To learn how to make my, also tried and trusted, New Orleans-style HURRICANE recipe, click here.
For more craft cocktails, click here.
Thank you all for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments below!