I am a self-proclaimed “easy going guy,” though many close to me might argue that isn’t always the case. And perhaps they’re right. As a true Gemini, I may very well turn from a (self-proclaimed) “easy going guy” to a super high-maintenance “I-want-it-that-way” kind of guy at the flip of a switch. As you appreciate my not-so-subtle Backstreet Boys reference there, know that despite my dual-persona tendencies, there is actually very little in the world that can perplex me. Currently on my list of “what the fucks” are the FOX5 news jingle (which I hate with an extreme passion, and is the reason I cannot wake-up to FOX5 in the morning), Pat Collins (sorry, NBC4 DC, but I just cannot take him), and Sundays… the latter being one of the things that I love to hate due to its own duality of marking the end of the short weekend, and the beginning of another presumably long week. Ultimately, it is the “Sunday Funday” that really grinds my gears.
On the bright side of Sundays is brunch, and with brunch comes the Bloody Mary. Sure, you can whip up a Bloody Mary on any day of the week, but having one on a Sunday is truly meaningful. It sometimes serves as the acknowledgment of a hard night out the night before (which could be a good or bad thing). It can symbolize the mere duality (my word of the day) of “good” (as in good-for-you tomato juice) and “bad” (as in shots-shots-shots-shots of vodka). And, it can symbolize the beginning of the end of a weekend well-spent.
Bloody Mary at Elephant & Castle, Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Being a vodka man myself, I consider the Bloody Mary to be the next most popular vodka-based drink, after the Martini (sorry to all you gin purists out there) and the Moscow Mule. The drink’s origins, however, have never been truly substantiated, although most roads seem to lead to Paris. Parisian or not, the name of the drink is also steeped in controversy, and some clearly relate it to Queen Mary I of England among others. Whatever its true origins, the drink is known the world over as the apparent cure for the hangover.
Traditionally served over ice, its two main ingredients are vodka and tomato juice. However, most modern iterations include a slew of other accoutrements including olive brine, molasses, hot sauce, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce to name a few. And garnishes have also become an important part of the drink’s “persona” –celery stalks and olives are the usual suspects, but lemon wedges, shrimp and other savory inclusions have made their way into curated glasses over the years.
Once dubbed the world’s most complex cocktail, it is a verified brunch favorite, and can actually make any Sunday Funday just a little fun-ner. Here is a Bloody Mary recipe that I enjoy, which comes from Esquire.com:
- 2 ounces vodka (or more –adjust to your own personal vodkapabilities, and hashtag that shit: #vodkapabilities)
- 4 ounces tomato juice
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
- 3 to 4 dashes Tabasco (or a hot sauce of your preference; I prefer Cholula)
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
DIRECTIONS (per the esquire.com recipe)
Squeeze the liquid out of the horseradish, then shake the ingredients well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then strain into a (Collins) glass with 2 or 3 ice cubes in it; add a pinch of salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper to taste. Garnish, if necessary, with a stalk of celery.