Asian Spiced Bloody Mary

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A note from Maggie

There’s something about summer that makes drinking most nights totally acceptable. One glass easily glides into three and, without any sort of tactical agenda, it’s 1:00 AM and my cheeks are more than a bit rosy. Come the next morning, the only remedy is a gallon of water, a long walk to sweat it out, or maybe another cocktail? This one, filled with proper vegetables, hot peppers, and fiery ginger and wasabi, hits the spot.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with Bloody Mary. The hate because it’s often the symbol of a night that went too far; one thinks of staggering into the kitchen to find a pitcher of thick red liquid in the center of the table, made by a sensible friend.

But a well-made Bloody Mary can be something to secretly love: that spicy, rich, salty cocktail that somehow manages to be both refreshing and earthy.

MORE: Bloody Mary tips, tricks, and secrets from mixologist Simon Ford. 

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The creation of a Bloody Mary is steeped in the kind of tradition that’s rivaled only by the Martini. There are firm rules and regulations attached to the cocktail, a set of dos-and-don’t that often feel like the house rules to a club.

This Asian-spiced version throws most of those conventions out the window, even though it’s based on the drink we all know so well. What you end up with is a blend of fresh spices, herbs, and tomato juice that is unusual but also slightly familiar.

MORE: Find the perfect garnish in Lemon Bird’s Cocktail Cherries.

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Ingredients like ginger, wasabi, coriander, and lemongrass paired with tomato, port, and vodka becomes East meets West in a glass.

I sometimes make the cocktail ahead of time, bottle up the mix into old liquor bottles, and hand out to a few friends over the weekend. It’ll last for a couple of days, so perhaps make on a Friday to drink on a Sunday afternoon.

MORE: Mix up more Sunday cocktails using our Royal Rose Drink Syrup Collection.

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Photos by Sean St. John.

Asian Spiced Bloody Mary

The recipe is really a guide, as fresh ingredients can be hotter or milder depending on the season and how old they are. Just remember, you want to be able to taste every ingredient.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, peeled and finely chopped, plus 4 more, lightly bashed, to garnish
  • 1 1-inch ginger knob, finely chopped
  • 1/2 chili pepper, finely chopped
  • Handful cilantro, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • Twist of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup ruby port
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 star anise
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, to garnish
  • 4 sticks celery, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Muddle the lemongrass, ginger, chilli, cilantro in a pestle and mortar until a paste forms. Add a touch of lemon juice and celery salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the vodka into a large glass or bowl. Add the paste and give it all a good stir. Add the port and tomato juice and mix again. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Taste and adjust, if necessary, with more spice (wasabi, chili, ginger), sweetness (port, lemongrass), saltiness (soy sauce, celery salt) or sourness (lemon juice).
  3. Let all the ingredients infuse for a couple of hours. Strain the liquid to remove the chunks.
  4. Slice the tomatoes in half and push onto a cocktail stick, chop the celery into long thin batons that will stand out of the liquid and finely chop the cilantro and sprinkle over the top. Lastly, bash a lemongrass until the aroma starts to release and then drop it into the glass, too. It won’t keep more than 2 days, so do not make too far ahead.

Materials

  • Large bottle with lid
  • Tag
  • Twine
  • Lemongrass
  • Celery stalks
  • Cilantro
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basket

Directions

  1. Pour the strained mix, removing the star anise, into a large bottle and seal with a lid.
  2. Write garnishing instructions on the tag, and attach it to the bottle with twine.
  3. Wrap the lemongrass, celery sticks, and cilantro with twine. Place this and the cerry tomatoes alongside the bottle in a basket.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique​–​a food​-​retail concept space ​with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.

Follow Eat Boutique’s founder Maggie here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Follow Eat Boutique here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

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