Around the holidays, there are often Sunday brunches with family and friends.
They’ll typically include some fresh, local seafood (packed with healthy omega-3s), some colorful, roasted vegetables, potatoes au gratin, and, perhaps, even a fresh berry tarte.
Of course, it’s also nice to enjoy a festive cocktail.
And there’s one in particular that can help spice up any holiday brunch—and it’s loaded with health benefits, too!
In fact, it’s so tasty—and nutritious—that I have perfected my very own recipe (which I’ll share with you in just a moment).
But first, let’s back up to talk about the history of this colorful, iconic brunch cocktail…
Iconic brunch cocktail has historical origins
The very earliest version of the Bloody Mary probably consisted of just vodka and tomato juice. (The latter ingredient is chock full of antioxidants—like lycopene—which are good for your heart and prostate for men.)
But then, in the 1920s, Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot added cayenne pepper (great for your metabolism and your joints), Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and spices to that basic mix. At the time, he was working at the New York Bar, a hangout frequented by American writers, such as Ernest Hemmingway.
Of course, today, many versions of this hearty cocktail exist. Including the Surf ‘n Turf Bloody Mary, which features shrimp as a garnish. It’s popular along the seaside in New England and around the Gulf of Mexico.
There are also lots of stories about the origins of the drink’s unique name…
The first—and most obvious—association is with Queen Mary I of England, who became known as “Bloody Mary” for trying to re-establish the Roman Catholic Church in England.
Others believe Hollywood silent film star Mary Pickford inspired the drink’s name.
And some trace the name to a waitress named Mary who worked at a bar called (appropriately enough) the Bucket of Blood in Chicago.
But no matter who inspired the drink, it makes a wonderful, health-boosting addition to any holiday gathering. So, here’s how to make your own delicious and nutritious mix…
Micozzi’s Classic Bloody Mary
- 3 cups tomato juice (you can use bottled juice or, my personal favorite—juice from your own fresh, organic tomatoes)
- 1 ½ tbsp prepared fresh horseradish
- 1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
- ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ tsp Tabasco sauce (or any other hot pepper sauce)
- ½ tsp celery salt
- 6 lime wedges
- 6 fresh celery stalks
- 9 ounces vodka, divided (you can also use hot pepper-infused vodka, for extra heat)
- Clam juice (or “clamato juice”), olive brine, pickles, or pickle juice (optional)
1.) Pour the first seven ingredients into a large pitcher and stir well. (You can prepare this mixture ahead of time and place it in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.)
2.) Fill six 10- to 12-ounce glasses with ice. Pour in the prepared tomato juice mixture.
3.) Stir 1 ½ ounces of vodka into each glass and garnish with a lime wedge and celery.
I find that it’s always best to make your own fresh Bloody Mary mix. But if you opt for a store-bought variety, just make sure to stay away from brands filled with artificial ingredients and sugars. (They’re not part of the traditional recipe, anyway!) Also, try to stay away from brands sold in plastic bottles, which add to the toxicity.
In my travels, I’ve come across two, healthy, store-bought mixes in glass bottles. The first is called “Zing Zang.” And the second is called “Suckerpunch Gourmet.” Both have zero added sugar and simple ingredients. Plus, despite the gourmet label and the glass bottle for the Suckerpunch brand, it was the least costly brand on the shelf at my local liquor store.
So—I hope you’ll join me in enjoying this colorful, nutritious cocktail over the holidays this year! And let me know what you think by sending me an e-mail to email@example.com.