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Top Pick Of The Week

December 23, 2008

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Bloody Mary

No matter what the season, Bloody Mary is one of America’s top three favorite cocktails. Photography © Letizia Spanò | Fotolia.

WHAT IT IS: Bloody Mary seasonings.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: A specialist in the Bloody Mary mix, this company makes three varieties: Classic, Extra Horseradish and Chilies & Peppers.
WHY WE LOVE IT: When we don’t have time to make our own mix, it’s a great substitute—just add tomato juice. While “our own” benefits from lots of fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice, this is pretty satisfying.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Demitris.com.
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Demitri’s: Bloody Mary Is The Girl We Love

Page 2: What Makes The Best Bloody Mary Mix

 

This is Page 2 of a four-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

INDEX OF REVIEW

MORE TO DISCOVER

What Makes The Best Bloody Mary Mix

When Demitri Pallis set out to make a really good Bloody Mary mix, his aim was “perfection.” Certainly, there is no way to judge perfection, no single “best in the world” of anything, because each of our palates seeks something different. But here’s what you should be looking for in an excellent Bloody Mary mix:

  • Layers of flavor, as with any good food product—not a one-dimensional taste.
  • Fine tomato flavor, indicating it was made from ripe tomatoes.
  • Lack of sugary sweetness—sugar or HFCS* is sometimes added to give a sweet taste to unripe tomatoes. Check the ingredients label; there shouldn’t be any kind of sweetener listed except within the Worcestershire ingredients sub-list. If you’re going to have sugar calories, enjoy them in a Piña Colada...or a brownie.
    *High fructose corn syrup, a cheaper alternative to sugar
  • A good level of spiciness from the horseradish, hot pepper sauce and black pepper—but not a level of high heat that numbs the palate or covers up the tomato flavor.

Bloody Mary Mix - Horseradish

There’s a Demitri’s for everyone—here, with extra horseradish.

  • A good level of seasoning (generally from celery salt), but not noticeably salty. Some mixes add garlic, which can be nice, but you don’t want it too garlicky (save that for the dip!). Chiles should be puréed from fresh fruit, not added from a powder (yes, botanically, chiles are a fruit, not a vegetable).
  • Fresh citrus flavor—lemon or lime. (TIP: Even if the mix contains lemon or lime juice, it always helps to add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to each glass prior to serving.)
  • A good consistency—neither watery nor a thick paste.

The best mixes are all-natural, use real lemon or lime juice, include freshly-grated horseradish for pulp, and aren’t pasteurized (which may sound good, but kills off some flavor in favor of a longer shelf life). What do you get in a mediocre Bloody Mary mix? Corn sweeteners and salt (or too much other seasoning, like garlic powder), instead of flavorful tomatoes. A good Bloody Mary mix can be enjoyed straight, as a delicious Virgin Mary—a highly-seasoned glass of tomato juice with more layers of flavor than you’d get by simply shaking some Worcestershire sauce into a glass of juice.

 

Continue To Page 3: Varieties Of Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning

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