Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Best Bloody Mary Recipe Ever - The Cajun Bloody Mary

I happened to be attending a conference in New Orleans in October of 1991, and found myself in the hotel bar after a long day on my feet. I was happy to find the World Series on the TV, and my Twins giving the Braves all they could handle. As I took my seat at the bar, my face must have belied my indecision on what to order, as when the barkeep approached me, he called out, "You look like a guy that needs a Bloody Mary."

Now there is an inherent problem with Bloody Marys: either they're outstanding or terrible, and more times than naught it is the latter. Immediately my mind went there, so I inquired if they were good. "What the hell do you think?" responded my southern barman. He immediately went to work on creation of the cocktail, complete with a draw on the side as a chaser.

Not only was the drink good, it was outstanding. I was informed that the recipe was for a Cajun Bloody Mary that the bartender invented, and to my delight he was quick to turn over the formula when I asked. I share it here:

96 oz. good tomato juice
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup worcheshire sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 - 5 heaping tablespoons of spice mix (below)
fresh ground horseradish to taste

Spice mix - equal parts
black pepper
white pepper
celery seed
celery salt
cayenne pepper
garlic salt
Cajun spice (2 parts)

Combine all liquids and sauces together, then mix in 3 tablespoons of spice mix. Shake thoroughly to mix ingredients and taste. Note that taste will not be as spicy as when the mix is allowed to settle over time, so make sure that additional spices are added with this understanding. Once liquid has reached the desired spiciness, add fresh ground horseradish to taste.

Mix well with good vodka over the rocks, and garnish with olives, homemade pickles, pickled asparagus, peppers, or other vegetables as desired. Serve with a tasty beer on the side.

This recipe has been in my family ever since, and has been shared as it has been requested. In fact, at a family dinner about 15 years ago, I shared it with the then owner of the Calhoun Beach Club; a swanky Minneapolis bar located in the Uptown area. Lo and behold, when out for drinks there one night, I happed to order the Bloody Mary, and found that it was indeed mine. No permission, no royalties, just a complete plagiarism of my drink.

Except the drink wasn't mine. It was a generous New Orleans bartender's.

Upon realization of the full situation, I swallowed down my indignation with a strong pull on a spicy drink, and said a private toast to southern hospitality.


  1. This sounds delish! If I prefer less spicy, just add less of the spice mix I presume? A good bloody in the am, especially during cabin season is unbeatable. As my mom tends to remind me, no alcohol before noon, unless it's a bloody or mimosa!! P.S. What is Yellow Dog Patrol?

  2. Hi Nicole,

    You are correct - to cut down on the spicy, cut down on the spice mix. Like you, I do love a good Bloody (as well as a mimosa - don't tell my buddies)

    Thanks for posting up!


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