The secret to a mother of a Mother’s Day Bloody Mary

by Craig Maltby for Club LT

I was in bar a few years ago (and a few bars since then) and started talking to the bartender about various spirits.

“I’m a vodka fan,” he said. He specializes in vodka cocktails.

I asked him what makes a great vodka. What separates a $50 bottle from a $15 bottle?

He said “Cup your hands together.” I did. He then got Brand-X of vodka and poured a little in my hands. He had me rub my hands together like I’m washing at the bathroom sink.

“Feel that slight stickiness? he asked. “That’s residue. Impurities. You want minimal residue in a vodka.”

Then he poured Brand-Y in my hands. Rub, rub, rub. No real stickiness. It just kind of evaporated. “That’s a great quality vodka,” he said. BTW, Brand-Y was Tito’s Vodka. Sells for about $17 a bottle around my town.

So making a great Bloody Mary starts with a great vodka.

And why not serve that hallowed cocktail this Mother’s Day. It goes great with brunch, lunch or dinner. With celery, dill pickle spears, bacon, green and red pepper strips, or all of the above. Mix with tomato juice, spicy tomato juice, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a little Tabasco. Add some horseradish, coarse pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lime. 

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Some folks are even making them with bourbon or rye rather than vodka. For non-drinkers, Virgin Marys, sans the liquor, are just as tasty and accommodating with a variety of food.

The key is to start simple. Don’t combine too many things and too many spices or veggies at one time. You can always add to the cocktail as you go. The essentials are a great tomato juice base, plenty of ice, a tall glass and a quality vodka. From there, add what you like and make it your own.

Mom will surely appreciate such a well-crafted libation, made with love, and just spicy enough to help her remember her special day. For your mother-in-law, just triple the horseradish!

About Craig Maltby
Craig Maltby is the Club LT community manager. He lives and works in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. When not writing or editing, Craig goes to movies, plays golf (or at least hits balls at the range), and plays keyboard in a classic rock music duo. 

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