Monday, Bloody Monday

What is your idea of a Bloody Mary?  Depending on who you are, the answer will vary immensely.  Like most classic cocktails, there come invention stories and there may be none with origin myths more prolific than hers. If it were 1921 and you were Fernand Petiot, bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, a Bloody Mary meant covering the bottom of a shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; then adding to it a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shaking, straining, and pouring. This was divulged in a 1964 article in The New Yorker yet, by first noting George Jessel’s simple “vodka and tomato juice” mixture at New York’s 21 Club, came with the admission Petiot’s was a refinement.  Ask Ernest Hemingway, seemingly the common denominator on the other side of these bloodied bars including the one after his name at The Ritz Paris.  He’d lay claim to its origin or at least do a damn good job convincing you of it in the process. The famous writer once bragged that he introduced the drink to Hong Kong, and noted that “it did more than any other single factor except perhaps the Japanese Army to precipitate the fall of that Crown Colony.”

Genuine BloodiesWhile the Bloody Mary’s origin may forever be in question, what isn’t is its ubiquity nor its ability to dress up or down for the occasion while still maintaining its ladylike charm.  Some like to parade like a peacock (I’ll have some vodka with my salad, please,) while others choose the minimalist route with 2:1 Clamato and vodka.  Michael’s house mix is only upstaged at Brunch by his Kimchi Bloody Mary incorporating the quick version of Korea’s national condiment usually found on the tables at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink hoisting a glistening slab of pork belly (yes, we hold the bacon for the drink. not all do…)  Sunday’s other signature, the Genuine Bloody Mary, of course highlights its signature ingredient with ours — the heirloom tomato.  Sweet, ripe goldens are selected for this recipe, puréed and combined with clover honey syrup, horseradish, black pepper and a fragrant basil salt rim for as sophisticated a sip as you’ll ever call bloody.

When choosing a vodka, TGHG beverage director Ryan Goodspeed says recommends keeping it clean in the base and adjust for seasoning in the mix. “I think a good, clean Russian vodka distilled from winter wheat is best, like Zyr. Artisanal American vodkas carry different taste profiles. Vanilla, grapes, etc. Tito’s, which we use on the ship, is made from corn and works well. Some like pepper-infused for spice.”

Today we offer our tried and true House Bloody Mary recipe, currently available at Michael’s Genuine® Pub aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, seven days a week.  Accessorize your own at The Raleigh Hotel where, beginning January 4, The White Bar will offer bottomless Bloody Marys for Sunday Brunch service at Restaurant Michael Schwartz.  It can be yours from 7am-4pm, ripe for the picking at $29.  Why not start early?

16138406615_d0ffa44c7d_kHouse Bloody Mary 

makes 1 drink

1 1/2 ounces vodka
House Bloody Mary Mix (recipe below)
1 2-inch piece of celery
1 grape tomato
1 cornichon
1 radish wedge
1 pickled carrot

In a highball glass filled with ice add vodka and fill with house mix. Stir. Skewer garnishes with a wood or bamboo pick.

House Bloody Mary Mix

yields 2 1/4 quarts

2 quarts of tomato juice
½ cup horseradish
½ cup of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
2 tablespoons of olive juice
2 tablespoons of lime juice
2 tablespoons of clover honey
1 tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of Habanero Hot Sauce (recipe below)

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients to combine.

Habañero Hot Sauce
from Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat

makes 3 cups

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and chopped
3 habañero chilies, stemmed, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a large nonreactive pot over medium-high heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Stirring often, until translucent, but not brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot, pepper, chilies, tomato paste; stir to combine. Pour in the vinegar and 4 cups of water. Give everything a good stir and simmer Add the agave, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until all the vegetables are super soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer the cooled sauce to a standard blender or use an immersion blender, purée until smooth. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.



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