I think that a Bloody Mary is a drink that everybody should be able to make. It is, after all, one of the official cocktails of the International Bartender Association. And it is listed in The Official Preppy Handbook as the “number one Prep mixed drink.” It is also classified as a “corpse reviver” (aka a good drink to cure a hangover) in the cocktail handbook American Bar by Charles Schumann. So, if all of those accolades haven’t convinced you, let me just say this: they are tasty and make you look like a cocktail aficionado when you mix one up, even if you’re not.
One of my favorite things about “bloodies” (the nickname used by Preps) is that you can change some of the ingredients to make it into your own signature cocktail. I mean, how cool is that? Swap out a few traditional ingredients (like celery salt and a stick of celery) for a few nontraditional ones (like Old Bay seasoning and pickled okra) and you have instantly upped the cool factor.
Now, I can’t take full credit for the invention of this drink. I took a trip to New Orleans this past April and almost every restaurant we went to advertised a “Cajun Bloody Mary.” (I liked how the waiters would ask the customers, “How Cajun (aka spicy) do you want it?”) I had a really great one on a riverboat cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez. Apparently it was an “award winning” version, although I don’t remember what award it won (uh, I was having a cocktail at 11 am, after all). The Steamboat Natchez version had a glass with its rim dipped in cayenne & black pepper, plus a couple of Manzanilla olives with the pickled okra. While that was totally fun and delicious, I wanted my version to be a little easier to make. I don’t think the versions in New Orleans used Old Bay seasoning, but I had some on hand leftover from a shrimp boil I did, so I thought, why the heck not? After all, the first ingredient listed on the Old Bay seasoning container is celery salt, so I figured it was close enough.
So, what are you waiting for? Invite some friends to brunch, put on some good New Orleans music, and get your Cajun on!
Cajun Bloody Mary
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 5.5 fluid ounces Spicy Hot V8
- Old Bay seasoning
- 4 drops Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lemon wedge
- 1 pickled okra
- Fill an old-fashioned glass about halfway with ice. Add the vodka, V8, a dash of Old Bay seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Squeeze the lemon wedge so that the juice goes into the drink. Drop the squeezed lemon wedge into the glass. Stir with the pickled okra and let it go into the drink too.
- Top with another dash of Old Bay seasoning.
Makes 1 drink
Time: 5 minutes
Notes: As I mentioned in the post, feel free to switch it up to make it your own. If you like it really spicy you can add a few drops of Tabasco. Just be sure to check the heat before you add it; I thought it had just the right amount of “tingle” from the Old Bay seasoning and the Spicy Hot V8 alone.