This year, we’re celebrating an extra spicy milestone birthday. 2014 marks the 80th anniversary of the Bloody Mary.
Created in 1934 at the St. Regis’ King Cole bar in New York City, the Bloody Mary (first named the more G-rated “Red Snapper” as to not offend the posh patrons), quickly became the “it” crowd’s best-loved vodka cocktail.
Today, the Bloody Mary is still a favorite for celebrity chef and food critic Katie Lee (and likely millions of brunchers). “Bloody Marys are, really, the only savory cocktail.” She told us at the Stoli vodka #SearchForMary party held earlier this week at the famed King Cole bar. “Swing on by (my house) on Sunday and you’ll find a Bloody Mary bar.”
And, yes, she means every Sunday. “Maybe that’s why I can’t get rid of my house guests!” Lee joked.
“I’ll make a big pitcher of Bloody Mary mix, set up the garnishes, and the let guests make it their own way.” Some of her go-to garnishes include sugared bacon, a single beautiful kale leaf and pickled kimchi. “Pickled produce is such a food trend right now,” Lee told us. “Pickled kimchi, pickled beets—all of it!”
So. . . can we come over?
“Of course!” Lee graciously offered. “You’re all invited.”
For those unable to make it to Katie Lee’s Sunday brunch, she shared her favorite Bloody Mary recipe, which is a bit of a mash-up: one part Northeastern, inspired by Lee’s breezy summers in the Hamptons, and one part Southern with a nod to her West Virginian roots.
Mary by the Beach
- 10 oz. Stoli vodka — While other vodkas will do in a pinch, Lee insists on using Stoli for her recipe. “Stoli is a really robust vodka,” she says. “It pairs well with complex flavors.”
- 1 45 oz. bottle low-sodium vegetable juice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsps. prepared white horseradish
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. celery salt
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- Hot sauce
- Old Bay Seasoning — Lee likes to use the seasoning to rim the cocktail glasses.
Garnishes: celery sticks, green olives, pickles, crispy bacon strips (Lee also likes brown sugar bacon — yum!), lemon wedges, and shrimp
In a large pitcher, combine the vegetable juice, Stoli vodka, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, kosher salt, onion powder and hot sauce to taste. Chill until serving time. Pour over ice and garnish as desired.