Like Cher Horowitz proudly wore her heart on her sleeve, I wear my love for seasonal produce in farmers market-inspired ink, with sidewalk photo shoots to capture my excited sense of whimsical inspiration, and those carrot tops and garlic stems poking out of my totebags.
Sunday market time
The tradition of visiting farmers markets on early summer mornings, before the sun hits, is near and dear to my heart, and seriously, along with refreshing cocktails and berry lemonades, are just about the saving grace of any day that hits over roughly 74 Fahrenheit. I see how this is problematic, with the sun being needed for the vibrant vegetable growing and all, but that’s my personal balance and heartache (er, fair skin, thighs and crabby attitude). Therefore, bringing the following two saving graces of late summer heat together: juicy, end of summer tomatoes and a cocktail, well, it just makes my weekend-y life that much more sensible.
Now this makes sense
This timely cocktail is my latest take on the classic Bloody Mary. It’s totally vegan, super fresh ⸺ especially if juice your own tomatoes ⸺ and most essentially, crazy flavorful thanks to infused vodka and again, those utterly lovely, sweet tomatoes.
Hold up! Don’t have time to infuse your own vodka? Add more hot sauce and citrus juice to taste.
If you do have say, 48 hours of advance notice, and an interest in THE BEST here? Okay, buy a bottle of vodka, and consider one of two of my go-to Bloody Mary mixes. Trust me on this. I used to be so MEH on Bloody Marys, which by that I mean, I would order it once a year and let the ice melt and stare awkwardly at my glass while a dear friend waited to see if it was up for grabs. Now, I get my sights set on those with homemade mixes, clever heat and my precious: pickled vegetables (and when they’re actually vegan, duh). Northwest-wise, I’m shouting out to Juniors, Jam (which I never do anymore!), Beulahland and Seattle’s Highline, to name a few quick good ones.
The Go-To Bloody Mary Infusion:
- 750mL bottle* of vodka
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, whatever colors you like
- 2 whole sprigs of fresh rosemary
- at least 4 chili peppers, either fresh or dried, but fresh & sliced is best
Thai-inspired Bloody Mary Infusion:
- 750 mL bottle of vodka
- 3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- handful of fresh Thai chiles, each pierced with a knife
- handful of fresh holy basil, including stems
- 1 piece of lemongrass, peeled and bruised with a knife
- optional: slices of ganangal, peppercorns, way more chiles, or some fresh pineapple for a sweeter drinker
The instructions remain the same for both: put everything into a container. Infuse for a minimum of 2-3 days, and up to a week. Strain carefully.
*If you want to go ahead and infuse in the bottle itself, which I often do, just remove one or two drink’s worth and make a round of martinis or some Penne alla Vodka for dinner. Proceed as you will.
This weekend was the first time I tried making my own tomato juice at home, thanks to J. Legume’s legit juicer and some encouragement. The end result was so in the realm of better-than-your-average-Bloody, and that’s what I’m looking for. Juicing your own tomatoes makes for such a refreshing cocktail, which helps balance all that heat I’m trying to talk you into.
And really, it seemed like the most appropriate way to start my birthday.
This Bloody Mary favors those late summer heirloom tomatoes & some of my favorite spicy flavors of Thailand. I’m using local heirloom tomatoes here, because I can’t resist when they’re down to $1.50/lb like all the others, which comes down to about 2 medium-sized tomatoes per drink. If you’re going for storebought ease, or it’s the middle of winter and there’s no way around it, I recommend R.W. Knudsen’s Very Veggie and Tomato blends.
Hot Heirloom Bloody with Thai-infused vodka
Here’s everything you’ll need & more:
- 5 ounces of fresh or store-bought tomato juice
- 2.5 ounces infused vodka
- ½ tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- good dash of vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce
- ½ ounce pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- squeeze of chili garlic sauce/Sriracha, to taste
- pinch palm sugar
- kosher salt, smoked paprika & ground pepper for salt rim
- slice of lemon or lime
- pickled goodies
First up, the salted rim:
Combine a good pinch each of kosher salt, smoked paprika and ground pepper on a flat plate. Rub the edge of your glass with lime or lemon, dip well in salt around all sides, and feel free to stick into your fridge or freezer while you mix your drink.
Shake everything with ice, pour over chilled glass with even more ice, and garnish with lime/lemon, pickled veggies and add more hot sauce as desired. Stir often with your straw, particularly if you’re using frothy, fresh tomato juice here.
Happy Sunday, or whatever.
Our friend, the heirloom tomato
This juice is so much lighter and lovelier than it probably comes across:
I’d like to thank thrift stores and fridge space.
The key to Bloody Marys in our apartment?
Kosher. Dill. Pickle. Juice.
And surplus pickles for the starring skewer: soy & chile pickled carrots in coconut vinegar / pickled radish slices / lemon cucumbers & green beans with tons of garlic in brown rice vinegar
My liquor cabinet-ish area may not be pretty, but it is pretty eclectic
Real shadows, pickled radish with garlic scapes & coriander seeds
How one ends a birthday weekend/presents from J. Legume/take out from my fave Thai spot in the city:
And last November, we had: Julia’s Rather Pickled Bloody Mary