You gotta love a husband who walks in the door after a long day at work, breathes in the smell of the tomatoes that have just come off the grill and says, "I bet that would make a great Bloody Mary. Want to try one?"
The only answer I ever have to questions like that is, "Yes, please!"
So we hauled out our Bloody Mary bible, Judy Bennett's "Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations," and, using her basic recipe, made what I think even Fernand Petiot, the guy who is credited with first combining tomato juice and vodka, would consider a fine addition to the genre.
Smoky MaryAdapted from "Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations," by Judy Bennett
Makes one drink
2 shots Monopolowa Vodka
2 shots smoked tomato sauce*
2 tsp. lemon juice
2-4 dashes salt
2 dashes black pepper
2 dashes cayenne
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 lime wedge, to serve
If you're like me and don't strain your tomato sauce when it comes off the grill, just put a half cup or so of sauce into a blender and blend till smooth. Put all ingredients except for the lime into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Gently squeeze the lime wedge over the drink so you extract some of the juice but don't deform the fruit. Drop the wedge into the glass before serving.
Part of the delight of a Bloody Mary for me is the condiments that come with it, often derisively referred to as "salad." The best pickled vegetables are made by the folks at Mama Lil's, especially their pickled asparagus and pickled beans. Throw in a spear of celery and an olive and it's practically a meal.
* You could also use canned fire-roasted tomatoes instead of tomatoes roasted on the grill.