I have a deep an abiding love for pickled foods. Really almost anything that’s come in contact with vinegar for, let’s say, over an hour makes me very happy. Salty foods and spicy foods are also very high on my list of “what I will eat at any hour of the day”. Sour, spicy, and salty combine to make the holy trinity of a perfect drink. Especially on a Sunday. With alcohol. And a side of eggs dripping in hollandaise.For the last month or so, I’ve been craving a Bloody Mary every single weekend, but for so many reasons haven’t been able to have a (good) one. (There was one upstate a few weeks back, but it was so sadly disappointing that even the memory is bringing my taste buds down.)
Then, finally, we had a brunch on the calendar! Bloody Mary’s here I come! But in that moment, thinking only of food and wanting to impress our out of town friends, I chose the best brunch place in our neighborhood: Queens Comfort.Then disaster. I remembered the restaurant is BYOB, which is almost never disastrous, except when you’ve been craving a Bloody Mary. After giving in to a little silent pouting, I decided that an inconvenience like having to bring all the pieces to make the perfect brunch drink wasn’t going to stop me. The real problem was that I hadn’t ever made a Bloody Mary mix from scratch before.
Obviously it was going to need good heat, salt, and acid in it, but what about the garnish? I love when a Bloody Mary basically has a whole meal just sitting on top of it. It needed to be more than a celery stalk, but it couldn’t be too much more because it was coming along with us to a restaurant. Like my friend Maya (check out her Bloody Blog), I detest when the garnish is a simple lemon or lime. The drink is hearty and bold – it should have hearty and bold food to go with it.In New York we don’t really have pickled eggs for purchase, and by the time I came to the idea of putting an egg on it I had less than 24 hours to make them. Turns out eggs can get that delicious pickled taste pretty quickly. They’re also super good in spicy tomato juice – hearty, and bold.
Once the eggs were set we went to work putting together the mix. Since neither Ari nor myself had ever made a Bloody Mary mix before, our kitchen transformed into a full on lab. More lime! Enough pepper! Touch of salt! What about this? Throw it in!Half an hour later we had what we thought was possibly the most delicious pitcher of tomato juice ever crafted. After letting it hang out in the fridge overnight we bottled it up, packed up the garnish and vodka and headed off for the most epic BYOB brunch ever. This “classic recipe with a twist” was a hit. Earning high marks from friends, who drank it with and without the alcohol, its status was upgraded to blog-worthy.
So here’s to the last days of summer. To hot lazy weekends, long brunches, and glasses filled with ice cubes slowly melting in the sun. I can’t wait for the fall but I sure will miss this amazing season. Cheers!
Bloody Mary Mix and Quick Pickled Eggs
Quick Pickled Eggs
- 3 Hard-boiled Eggs, cooled, shell removed
- ½ cup Distilled White Vinegar
- ½ cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 6-10 Black Peppercorns
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- Pinch of Fennel Seed (optional)
- 1 Bay Leaf
Bloody Mary Mix
- 1 ¼ tsp of Celery Seed
- 1½ - 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 Limes Juiced
- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 4 Tbsp Prepared White Horseradish
- 2 Tbsp Hot Sauce (we used Cholula)
- 1 can, 46 oz, of Tomato Juice (we used Sacramento)
- Many turns of Fresh Black Pepper (to taste)
- Salt to taste
For the rim
- Seasoned salt or your favorite spice (we used the Mexican spice Tajin Clásico - an incredible blend of chilies, lime, and salt)
Quick Pickled Eggs
- Bring all the ingredients (minus the eggs) to a boil in a small saucepan. Use a whisk to incorporate the sugar and salt. Turn off the heat and let it cool slightly (about 5 minutes).
- Pour the liquid and spices over the shelled hard boiled eggs in the container you will pickle them in (I used a jam jar). Let the jar of eggs and pickling mix cool fully before putting it into the fridge. I turned it upside down in the fridge to make sure the eggs were all submerged.
- Eggs are ready 12-24 hours later. I liked them best within a day or two but you can keep them up to a week in the refrigerator.
Bloody Mary Mix
- In a pitcher, or small bowl, break down the celery seed in the worcestershire sauce using the back of a spoon or pestle.
- Transfer the celery seed/worcestershire sauce to the pitcher or bowl you will use to mix everything together and add all the ingredients except the tomato juice. Mix together.
- Add the tomato juice and stir it all up. Taste for seasoning. Let sit for at least a couple hours in the fridge or overnight.
- Moisten the rim of the glass with a lemon or lime. Roll the glass rim in whatever salt or seasoning you're using.
- Place a few ice cubes in the glass and, if you're using vodka, pour the vodka over the ice. We used 1 part vodka to 2 parts mix. Fill the rest of the glass with your Bloody Mary mix and stir.
- Garnish with spicy and salty things. Things I thought about but didn't use: cubes of cheese, pickles, smoked meats, and pickled carrots. I used seven olives because three seemed too few and eleven couldn't fit on the skewer.