Still looking for something to make with all those fresh summer tomatoes? Look no further! Jessica and I decided to make fresh tomato juice for the express purpose of creating the ultimate Bloody Mary- well 2 Bloody Mary’s actually. Because we are both still flush with fresh tomatoes, we knew we had to something fun with them. Tomato soup – boring, gazpacho – boring, Bloody Mary – Oh Yea! We wanted to put a twist into each of our recipes. Jessica has an amazing Breville juicer that she bought at Williams-Sonoma, but I have yet to make that investment, but will soon. However, not having one gave us the opportunity to try making the tomato juice two ways, which you’ll see in the recipes here. I made my Roasted Tomato juice for my Bloody Mary using a food processor, and Jessica juiced her tomatoes for her Charleston Bloody Mary.
Besides all the fresh tomatoes we both have on hand from our little backyard gardens, we were also inspired by an upcoming wedding I’ll be attending. My husbands cousin is getting married, and it has made me a little nostalgic for my own wedding almost 9 years ago. We got married on a small island on the west coast of Florida. The hotel and church are both on the historic registry. The hotel, The Gasparilla Inn, built in 1909, is one of the oldest surviving resort hotels in Florida. It’s a beautiful old world style hotel, really classy, and quaint. It was a beautiful spot for a wedding. I can’t wait to visit again on our 10 anniversary. Back to the Bloody Mary inspiration – we had a brunch for our guests the day after our wedding and everyone drank Bloody Mary’s – because what else would you drink after a night of merriment?
Roasted Tomato Bloody Mary – Sara
For my Bloody Mary, I decided to roast my tomatoes. I simply cut them in half, removed the seeds with a grapefruit spoon, seasoned with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then roasted them at 425 degrees F. Once they were done, I let them cool, then ran them through the food processor. The resulting tomato juice was rich in flavor as well as thick and creamy. It’s absolutely perfect for a Bloody Mary. I have a Cuisinart 12-cup food processor from Williams Sonoma, and it did a spectacular job with the tomatoes. I ran it about 3-4 minutes, to be sure all the little bits of tomato skin were incorporated with the juice. I made my tomato juice ahead of time and stored it in the fridge for a couple of days. It would probably last about a week, as long as its in an airtight container and in the fridge.
My Brother-In-Law was a bar tender at a few of Charlotte, NC nicest restaurants. So, he is a Bloody Mary expert. Of course, I hit him up for a few tips on how to make the ultimate Bloody Mary. He was the one who suggested the pickle, and pepper juice, and they really add that little something extra to this recipe. But, the star is the garden fresh roasted tomatoes. We often make Bloody Mary’s on Sunday morning while making brunch, but usually use this organic tomato juice I get at my local gourmet grocery store, but using fresh ingredients really made all the difference. I am considering remaking the mixture ahead of time, and freezing it (minus the vodka) so we always have it on hand for Sunday brunch. The recipe itself is a little labor intensive, as I made the tomato juice, infused vodka and the celery salt myself. However, if you make the recipe in the proportions I did, you’ll have lots of extra so you can save it for the next one!
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. Now, I know it’s not technically a competition, but let us know in the comments whose Bloody Mary is better!
Local Ingredient: Tomatoes from my own backyard, celery from the farmers market
Charleston Mary – Jessica
I have lived in many different places in the country and have noticed that every region, or even city, creates it’s own distinct Bloody Mary. In Wisconsin where I went to school Bloody Mary’s were served with a cheese stick and sausage stick. In New England where I live now, they add clam juice, and when I lived in Charleston, SC Bloody Mary’s had a lot of zing and were served with a beautiful jumbo South Carolina shrimp. There was this one restaurant where we used to go to brunch on Sunday’s that was located on James Island. It looked like a little shack in the middle of nowhere, but they served the best food and the most amazing Bloody Mary. It was spicy and rich and came with the biggest most delicious shrimp you have ever seen, That place is still the one I compare all Bloody Mary’s to this day. I tried to recreate that amazing cocktail here. I infused my vodka with some fresh jalapenos from my garden.
I also used my Breville juicer to make the base with my garden fresh tomatoes. I like using the juicer for making fresh tomato juice because of it’s simplicity. I washed the tomatoes and then cut them into chunks small enough to fit into the juicer. I juiced them sink, seeds and all. The result was great! The juicer perfectly separated the tomato juice from the rest of the tomato, resulting in a beautifully tick and red fresh tomato juice. It could not have been easier!
I combined the fresh tomato juice with onions, celery, more jalapenos, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and fresh lemon juice and simmered it on the stove until the flavors were well blended. I then combined the Bloody Mary mix with my jalapeno vodka, garnished with a shrimp an voila, I was back in Charleston!