Whether you’re harvesting straight from the garden or buying fresh produce, there’s nothing like preserving summer’s bounty to enjoy throughout the year. In Drink the Harvest (Storey Publishing, 2014), authors Nan K. Chase and DeNeice C. Guest, share techniques and recipes for turning fruits, vegetables and herbs into delicious beverages to drink fresh or preserve for later. This excerpt from chapter 4, “Creating Fruit & Vegetable Drinks,” features an Ultra-Spicy Bloody Mary Recipe followed by home-canning instructions.
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Here’s a capital recipe, good with or without the addition of vodka or other spirits. There’s no need to add extra spices, as there’s a lot of heat already. Here are all the ingredients for a classic Bloody Mary mixer with lots of ground-up vegetables for a good bite.
The heat in this recipe comes from fresh horseradish (a garden staple if you have the room) and from garlic, cayenne pepper, and plenty of peppercorns. This recipe may be too hot for some people, although it does mellow with age. Reduce the spices by half to make a milder but just as tasty version of this recipe.
To make a good Bloody Mary, combine bloody mary mixer with gin or vodka at a ratio of 2 parts mixer to 1 part alcohol, or to taste. Serve over ice in a glass rimmed with celery salt or red pepper salt. Add freshly squeezed lime and pickled vegetables such as green beans, okra, pearl onions, or olives. Don’t forget a fresh celery stalk to make the perfect cocktail.
Ultra-Spicy Bloody Mary Recipe
• 4 pounds tomatoes (about 10 medium), quartered
• 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1 large golden beet, peeled and chopped
• 1 large celeriac root (about 2/3 pound), peeled and chopped, or 6 ribs of celery, chopped
• 1 medium-to-large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
• 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
• 2 bay leaves, rinsed
• 1 whole fresh cayenne pepper
• 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt (or kosher salt)
• 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
• 1 teaspoon celery seed
• 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed, coarsely ground
• 1/2 cup fresh horseradish, peeled, grated
• 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, coarsely ground
• 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, Crystal, or Texas Pete
• 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha
• 1/2 cup dark beer, such as stout or porter (optional)
• Filtered water
• Lemon juice (for canning, 2 tablespoons per quart of juice)
• Salt (for canning, 1/4 teaspoon per quart of juice)
1. Place the tomatoes, carrots, beet, celeriac root or celery, fennel, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper into a large nonreactive stockpot, and then add filtered water to barely cover (about 8 cups). Bring the contents to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking, and skim off any foam.
3. Discard bay leaves and whole cayenne pepper; add 2 tablespoons of the coarse sea salt (or kosher salt); then add the lemon juice to the pot and let it cool slightly.
4. Working in batches, purée vegetable mixture in blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Set aside.
5. Grind celery and mustard seeds with the remaining 1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt (or kosher salt) using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
6. Add the celery-seed-and-mustard salt, the horseradish, the black pepper, the Worcestershire sauce, the hot pepper sauce, the hot chili sauce, and the beer (if desired) to the vegetable purée.
7. Cover and chill overnight for flavors to blend.
This juice can be used fresh or preserved by canning.
Cook's Tip: If you have fresh raw oysters on hand, drop one into a Bloody Mary to absorb the marvelous flavors; then enjoy the oyster once the drink is finished. Alternatively, garnish the glass with a boiled shrimp in the shell.
More from Drink the Harvest
• Watermelon-Mint Syrup Recipe
• All-Around Herb Wine Recipe
• Pour the measured juice into a nonreactive stockpot.
• Simmer juice at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
• Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to each sterilized quart jar (or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar). Then fill the jars with hot tomato juice, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Apply sterilized lids and bands, being careful not to overtighten.
• Process both pint and quart jars in boiling-water bath for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
Excerpted from Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas and Ciders © by Nan K. Chase and DeNeice C. Guest, photography © by Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing.