Before I became a starving artist I was a bitter bartender. I made drinks and chitchat while others made merry. I was quick with a joke, and my heavy-handed metaphors translated nicely to one long pour after another. I hated it.
My coworkers were great, and most of the regulars were regular enough, but I was on my feet for hours at a time, working weird shifts, and always watching life go by on the stories of others. I longed to lean against a pint in this port or that and spin the tales from long to longer, but I was trapped by lines of taps and tapas. Instead, I laughed when they needed it, and I gazed through the windows of glass that grew between their words and the cold cause of them, wondering how many steps to the center of someplace else, someplace different.
And yet, I honed skills there, too. I learned to listen, multitask, entertain, and soothe. I also perfected a mean Bloody Mary, and of all the lessons that we carry through this life, that one has served me as well as any other.
It is creativity in a glass and art on the tip of your tongue. It requires imagination, patience, and a tolerance to heat. A good Bloody Mary isn’t just a drink, it’s a journey. Take pride in the preparation and savor the destination.
There are worse life skills.
- Salt rim of glass if desired
- Place a ring of raw red onion in the base of glass
- Fill glass with ice, top with salt and pepper and give it a moment
- Pour in 2 ounces of the best vodka you care to buy—don’t be fooled into thinking that a lot of mix means you can skimp on the quality of liquor, a good spirit won’t haunt you quite as much when the fun goes down
- Add tomato juice (a healthy vegetable juice packed with vitamins makes a nice substitute) to an inch from the top of the glass
- Dash of horseradish
- Dash of garlic
- Splash of Kikkoman Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
- Splash of Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
- The trick is in the build. Don’t make the mix separate and then stir it into the vodka, rather, layer each ingredient as added, and then mix with a quick flick of a pickled green bean and/or green onion, top with a garlic or pepper stuffed olive, and a wedge of citrus
Do you have a favorite Bloody Mary recipe? Brag about it in the comments!
And that’s not all! Kikkoman, makers of such fine products as what you are now drinking, has a fun and exciting contest to help create their new jingle for Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce. Seriously, you could be somebody!
It’s simple, visit the project/contest over at Zooppa and submit your own Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce jingle entry, then sit back and drink more Bloody Marys. That’s the good life, people.
This post is sponsored by Kikkoman, but I was using this recipe long before I was cashing their checks, and that equals legit. Follow Kikkoman on Facebook and Twitter, because corporations are people, and they’re good ones.
Photo by get directly down via Flickr