Mary Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Bloody Pour?

Peppery vodkas, home-infused.
Peppery vodkas, home-infused.
Photo by Andrea Grimes

For the past several weeks, Brunch Drunk Love has sampled many and various brunch menus, from Lakewood to Uptown to Deep Ellum to Oak Cliff and even south to Austin. And in each, Brunch Drunk Love has turned its critical eye to that most difficult to perfect of brunch drinks, the Bloody Mary. Blandness prevailed at the Londoner, while Smoke's tomatoey cocktail presently leads the competition. Yet how easy it is to critique, and how difficult to create something of one's own. No more, Brunch Drunk Love, fans. No more. I am now prepared to release my own Bloody Mary recipe, carefully crafted after three years of sampling Marys the world over.

My Bloody Mary quest was largely inspired by the desire to have a more affordable, but delicious, home-grown version of the Bloody Mary served at Austin's Rio Rita coffee-booze joint on East 6th Street. Notable Rio Rita twists: tons of garnish and a pepper-infused vodka. But It's hard to part with $10 a drink as a grad student, particularly one who likes to tip and get the fancy vodka. But there's also a hint of the Bloody Marys I used to down at the Green Elephant several years ago when I helped produce a comedy show there on Wednesday nights. Their secret? Beer in the Bloody. Brilliant.

So here it is, Aters: The Brunch Drunk Bloody.

You'll want to start by infusing your own pepper vodka, and quityerbitchin already because if I can do it, you can freaking do it with your hands tied behind your back with the shredded remains of a 12-step book. Buy a bottle of Monopolowa, a smooth but cheap potato vodka that holds flavor well. When I made my infusions, I distributed the vodka equally into four different mason jars so that I could experiment with different peppers. But the Brunch Drunk Bloody is made with smoked pepper infused vodka, because it is the most delicious.

Buy a packet of smoked and dried serrano chiles at Fiesta or wherever, then chop off their heads and seed 'em. For more spice, grab a fresh habanero, seed it, and use half. Anyway, the key is to have an airtight glass container and a couple days of stewing time. I sliced up three smoked peppers and the half-habanero into a filled pint-sized jar and let the thing marinate in a kitchen cabinet -- sunlight appears to weaken the mix, which seemed counterintuitive to me, but that is what the Internet told me and I believe 100 percent of what I read online. You should too.

In the meantime, you'll need: Zing Zang mixer, limes, lemons, Worcestershire sauce, fresh horseradish, soy sauce and seasoned salt. Buy a dark-ish beer. Shiner's pretty good. Spend money on some good garnishes -- hot pickles, green beans, okra, olives, celery, carrots, pickled peppers, whateverthehell. You might consider the speedy shipping from Rick's Picks while you're waiting on that vodka to get rolling. Depending on your level of garnish (and you should have your garnishes turned up to 11, because a Bloody Mary should be a salad in a glass), you'll want a large toothpick or, to do the full Brunch Drunk Bloody, probably a kebab skewer.

Got your vodka ready? OK. Go get your cocktail shaker. Not the little one. The big one. We are making a pint-glass of Bloody Mary, because little Bloody Marys are awfully sad. Fill the shaker with a few cubes of ice, a shot of the smoky stuff, and the rest with Zing Zang. I know, you are an awesome and amazing master of spice and cocktails, and you shudder at the thought of using a pre-made mixer because you are so indie and cool. Shut up. Zing Zang is as good or better than whatever you can mix up on your own.

And into the shaker: a half-teaspoon of fresh horseradish, a teaspoon of Worcestershire (little more if, like me, you worship the 'cester), a dash of soy sauce and the squeeze of half a juicy lime, and a quarter of a juicy lemon. Shake, shake, shake. Have your cabana boy, oldest child or Helping Hand monkey run a spent lemon or lime rind around the rim of a pint glass, which you'll then have them dip on a plate of seasoned salt before filling with ice. Pour a shot of Shiner into the pint glass (not into the shaker, good god, that stuff will explode).

Pour the shaken Mary mixture into your icy pint glass, stab several garnishes with your skewer of choice and stick 'em in. Stir. Enjoy your bloody good Brunch Drunk Bloody. 

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