A little treat for you today, our loyal readers, because we're about to give away a real trade secret: our formula for the perfect Bloody Mary. There's nothing too weird here, nothing too unusual. Just a damn good Bloody mix for whenever you need it most. A few cardinal rules here: This must be made the night before you plan to drink it, so it can sit overnight. Otherwise, the flavors just don't come together. And while it looks like a long ingredient list, odds are half of them are in your fridge or spice cabinet already. The good news? Once the mix is made, it'll last a while in the fridge and pretty much forever in the freezer, so making a Bloody is as easy as adding vodka and celery.
Now, the recipe: In a quart-sized container, pour 23 ounces of tomato juice—the canned kind is just fine here. Add 6 tablespoons of jarred grated horseradish, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 6 big dashes of Tabasco, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice, 1 ounce olive brine (just the liquid from whatever green olive jar you have on hand), plus 1 full teaspoon of coarse-ground black pepper.
Stir that all up, let sit overnight and in the morning, get mixing with one of these three recipes.