If you’re looking for a fun entertaining idea, consider throwing a Bloody Mary brunch party. People can have Bloody Marys with or without vodka, you can provide different flavors of vodka, and let them garnish their own Bloody Mary. The actual origin of the Bloody Mary drink is uncertain with claims that it was invented in the 1920’s in Paris while other people claim that it originated in New York, and others say it was invented in Chicago. Wherever it came from, it is certainly a staple on many drink menus around the world. Brunch items can be simple and you can certainly offer for people to bring their own favorite items. We decided to throw one over the weekend and for our brunch items, we chose to make deviled eggs, mini-frittatas, bacon wrapped sesame bread sticks, and French toast sticks with syrup. We made our own Bloody Mary mix and had shrimp, pepperoncini, celery, pickles, cherry tomatoes, and olives (some stuffed with pimentos and some stuffed with jalapeno peppers) as garnish. Letting guests poor their own Bloody Mary and garnish it themselves allows them to control the amount of alcohol that they want as well as be creative with the way that they garnish their own drink. We have provided our recipe for the Bloody Mary mix, but if you’d like information on any of the brunch items, just let us know.
48 oz Tomato Juice
12 oz Clamato Juice
1/4 cup Beef Broth
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
4 tbsp Prepared Horseradish
1 1/2 tbsp Celery Salt
2 to 3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
Add all of the ingredients in a large picture, stirring to incorporate all of the horseradish. If you can’t find Clamato brand tomato juice, you can add the 10 ounces of tomato juice and 2 ounces of clam juice. If you would like a more or less spicy Bloody Mary mix, simply increase or decrease the amount of horseradish and tabasco sauce that you add.
Food and beverage festivals can be a great way to sample a variety of specific foods from area restaurants and specialty stores. We have gone to many different ones in the past from barbeque festivals to a bacon and beer festival. Over the weekend, we went to Denver and participated in the Bloody Mary Festival, which included 15 different types of Bloody Mary samples as well as a variety of food and other stands selling goods and handing out free samples. We always enjoy a good Bloody Mary, so we were excited to see all of the creative drinks as well as toppings that were going to be offered.
One thing that we learned relatively quickly is that sometimes people can get too creative with their ingredients. A popular ingredient seemed to be pickle juice or pickling spices, which can be fine in moderation, but these were a little over the top. Another that we tried had fish sauce in it, which we didn’t care for, but perhaps that is just our taste preference. You could get a green Bloody Mary with orange and pineapple or one that was made with beer. It was good that almost every stand had a list of ingredients so that you knew what you were about to drink before giving it a taste.
In the end, when it came time for us to vote, we ended up selecting a more traditional style of Bloody Mary. Our favorites were from the Highland Tavern and Tupelo Honey. We like ours a little spicy, but found the more exotic recipes to be a little too much for us. Although you could drink as much as you like, we just took a few sips of each one, just enough to get a true sense of the flavor. After a while, even if you like a good Bloody Mary, the acid from the tomatoes can start to get to you. We will continue to keep our eyes open for any upcoming festivals that seem unique and interesting.