Game days demand a better Bloody Mary
By RUDI SCHMIDT AND STU WATERS September 11, 2012 10:05AM
Rudi Schmidt and Stu Waters (R) hold their two versions of Bloody Marys in the outdoor garden at Boka. They are the co-owners of Stu's sour, a line of pickles and Bloody Mary mix. Waters is Le Cordon Bleu-trained and handles the culinary side. Photographed on Thursday, August 23, 2012. in Chicago. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times
Updated: October 13, 2012 6:04AM
Most people think of the Bloody Mary as a brunch cocktail. But here’s an interesting fact: During football season, it’s the adult beverage of choice after beer.
A Bloody Mary’s acidity balances most typical brunch foods, and its tartness keeps it from tasting flat.
Its tangy, acidic qualities also increase your appetite. This is probably why the cocktail often is paired with munchable garnishes, from deli meats to sour pickles.
When you make the drink with fresh tomato juice, you’ll understand why tomato flavor is king in this cocktail.
But you don’t want your Bloody Mary to just taste like tomato or the heat from seasonings and spices.
The spiciness should be sensed at the finish, and not used as a mask for cheap ingredients. If all you get is spiciness upfront, you can’t enjoy all the other flavors — and textures — this fun drink delivers.
They say you don’t drink a Bloody Mary, you chew it. A good Bloody Mary should have a hearty, chunky, full mouthfeel. It also should change as you drink it. You want the flavor to travel from the tomato, and the appetite-enhancing acid it delivers, toward a spicy finish.
Here is a fun recipe for a Green Bloody Mary that will dazzle your guests as they keep an eye on the gridiron. Whenever possible, serve your Bloody Marys in tall, clear glasses.
And if you see that the spices have sunk to the bottom of the glass, that’s where all the flavor has gone. So, stir your Bloody Marys well before serving.
Rudi Schmidt and Stu Waters are the owners of the Chicago-based pickle company Stu’s Sour.