Downtown Spirits - Seattle

With Fall finally arriving, the drinks of summer have passed and the palate prefers a more savory, spicy flavor.  It's Bloody Mary season.

Long a staple of Sunday Brunch and cold weather drinkers, the Bloody Mary perfectly combines tomato juice, Worcestershire Sauce, pepper, spice, citrus and vodka to create what some have called the world's most complex cocktail.  

It's generally agreed that the Bloody Mary originated at Harry's New York Bar in Paris around 1921, after Fernand Petiot improved on a recipe by comedian George Jessel which called for equal parts tomato juice and vodka.  Petiot added Worcestershire and spice, and the modern Bloody Mary was born.  The name Bloody Mary is a reference to either Queen 'Bloody' Mary I of England, best known for persecuting Protestants, or to a waitress named Mary at a Chicago bar called Bucket of Blood, best known for possibly being the origin of the name Bloody Mary.  There are some who say it was named after actress Mary Pickford, but as she's already got a cocktail named after her (light rum, pineapple juice, grenadine, Maraschino) I'm going to let one of the other two take this one.

After getting some requests at the store lately for Bloody Mary mix I was asked which one we should carry.  I had one answer.  Demitri's.

Demitri Pallis was a bartender at the New Orleans jazz club here in Seattle, and was unhappy with the inconsistency of their Bloody Marys.  He decided there had to be a better way, and after more than a year of experimentation he came up with his perfect blend of spices and began serving it at the club.  As word of the fantastic Bloodies there spread, other bartenders in the neighborhood started using his recipe, and soon enough he began producing it for everyone to enjoy.

We're currently carrying all four flavors of Demitri's Bloody Mary mix, Classic, Extra Horseradish, Chilies and Peppers, and Chipotle-Habanero, as well as his two rimming salts, classic and bacon-flavored.  Be aware that these are concentrated seasoning blends meant to be mixed with tomato juice.  Adding them directly to vodka will make a more potent beverage than most people are looking for.  The ratio is 2 ounces mix to 1 quart of tomato, so the 8 oz bottles we carry will make a gallon of Bloody Mary mix, enough for a handle of vodka.  If you need more than that we're also carrying 16 oz bottles of Classic Recipe, which will yield 2 gallons of mix.

We'll leave it up to you to decide what you'd like to include for the 'salad' of garnishes that traditionally finishes off a good Bloody.  Popular choices are pepperoncinis, pickled vegetables, cocktail olives and onions, and more recently, bacon.

For an excellent North of the border variation try Canada's favorite, the Caeser, with Clamato replacing the tomato juice.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.

So come on down and grab a bottle of Demitri's fabulous Bloody Mary mix along with your favorite vodka and enjoy the best Bloody Mary in town with brunch (or as brunch) this weekend.

Jawn Wakefield

Written by Meru Belbayeva — October 18, 2012

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