America’s favorite way to nurse a hangover is with a Bloody Mary, so it should be no surprise that New Year’s Day also happens to be National Bloody Mary Day.
“Bloody Marys are one of the best hangover drinks because there is so much substance to [them],” says award-winning mixologist Ryan Wainwright of Terrine Restaurant in Los Angeles. “Most drinks are predominantly alcohol or juice, but the Bloody Mary acts as a sort of meal replacement, with tomato juice, celery juice, carrot juice, plus salt to help you retain water. In California, it’s especially popular because Southern Californians love Mexican flavors and look for a lot of heat in their food. That’s how I approach the Bloody Mary at Terrine, making it salty, spicy and savory, almost like a boozy, Central American gazpacho.”
When you make your own, make sure to booze carefully and creatively. “I use St. George Green Chile Vodka because bell, habañero and serrano peppers are distilled right into the [spirit],” says Wainwright. “If you’re not looking for that spice, choose a potato vodka. It’s oilier and fatter in flavor, which plays really well with the salt.”
Photo Credit: Anchor Distilling
Fans of Mexican Michelada beer cocktails could easily be won over by one of these hangover cures made with Anchor Brewing Company’s Hophead, a unique hops vodka with distinct floral and malty taste notes. It perfectly complements any salty, spicy Bloody Mary, such as this simple Hopped-Up Mary from bartender Russell Davis.
Combine all ingredients in a chilled mixing glass, rimmed with sea salt, and stir. Add ice. Stir again to mix. Garnish with a cocktail shrimp, lemon zest, fresh ground pepper and a celery stalk.
A bold and unusual potato spirit choice is Karsson’s Gold, which cocktail guru Jim Meehan calls a “potato eau de vie of sorts, [which] makes you wonder if you’ve ever tried vodka before.” Made from a blend of virgin new potatoes harvested in Sweden, Karlsson’s Gold is reviving the artful tradition of potato-style vodka. The spirit's savory flavor makes it a natural for a Bloody Mary, like this one from bartender Sean McClure’s super spicy and pickle-friendly Bloody Swede.
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and mix well. Store in fridge overnight to let all the flavors meld together.
Bloody Mary Mix
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and mix well. Store in fridge overnight to let all the flavors meld together. Yields about .75 of a gallon.