Bloody Mary's have not always been my morning cocktail of choice. Once upon a time, in my inexperienced and unbridled youth, I spent a hazy evening drinking copious amounts of -- from what I can recall -- off brand tequila. The following morning, an older and wiser companion took me to brunch to nurse my bruised ego (I hit a mailbox and knocked the side-view mirror off of my brand new ride. Do not, and I repeat, do not drink and drive, kiddos.). He waxed poetic about the healing effects of the Bloody Mary. I wasn't so sure, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. One sip later and I was curled up in the bathroom of a fairly classy food establishment. Needless to say, I steered clear of the tomato juice-vodka cocktail for a couple of years. I'm not quite sure when my opinion changed, but I'm fairly sure it involved my discovery of Absolut Peppar vodka and Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix. In honor of football season, I figured I'd share the secret. I give you my ultimate Spicy Bloody Mary. This drink is the quintessential southern game day cocktail: potent enough to cure last night's hangover yet perfectly acceptable to drink at 8 o'clock in the morning. Gotta love the SEC!
P.S. When I realized the power of this dangerous duo, I started gifting the pair at Christmas, wrapped up in a little basket and made complete with a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and a jar of pickled okra. Don't you wish you were my friend?
YIELD: one cocktail (can easily be multiplied for a pitcher)
2 ounces Absolut Peppar vodka
4 ounces Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Big squeeze of lime or lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste (Tabasco or Cholula)
Garnish: celery, lemon, lime, and/or pickled okra
Fill a 16-ounce glass with ice. Pour all ingredients over ice and gently stir. Feel free to adjust for personal taste (i.e. more vodka... wink, wink).