Book Review: The Bloody Mary Book

I’ll be honest: When I make a Bloody Mary (which is not often), my recipe generally includes vodka plus a bottle of high-end, premade mix. There’s plenty of great mix on the market, at least that’s how my logic goes, so why reinvent the wheel?

Ellen Brown reminds us that making your own Bloodies is still an option — and probably a better one, at that. Make your own? You bet: In fact, these recipes are all from scratch, right down to making your own tomato juice and puree from fresh plum tomatoes. Don’t buy spiced or flavored vodka, she says. Here’s how to make your own.

Sure, you can make a Bloody with canned juice (and Brown will show you how if you’re strapped for time), and she even has a list of recommended pre-made mixes to share. (I’ve had almost none of them.) And when you’re ready to get fancy, she offers countless variations on the standard, ranging from the classic Brave Bull to the oddball Clear Sailing — a transparent Bloody Mary. Bar snacks aplenty are also on tap for those who want an aggressive garnish. (Brown was the founding food editor of USA Today and now is primarily a cookbook author, so she knows what she’s doing here, too.)

I’m not afraid to say that Brown has produced what may be the most essential guide to Bloody Mary cocktails ever written. If this is your drink of choice, it’s 12 bucks put to good use.

A- / $12 /  [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]

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