It’s the MIL’s Bloody Mary recipe.  I couldn’t hold out on you people – especially Gina who said she was nice and followed it up with a compliment of my grammatical skills.  I’m easy, what can I say.

I lucked out in the MIL department – and not just because of her skills behind the bar (though that’s a definite plus in my book).  We get along famously and whenever the hubs and I make the five-hour drive to visit, she usually has a pitcher of bloodys awaiting my arrival.  I hear horror stories of family drama where one side clearly doesn’t get along with the other and I cringe.  In my situation, everyone blends – thank you baby Jesus.

So getting to the recipe…the below will make about a pitcher’s worth of the drink.  Also, there are no hard and fast measurements so when I say a dash of this or that, just use your best judgment.  Bloodys are pretty easy to “fix” if you find you don’t like how they came out – just add what you think is missing.

You will need the following:

  • Spicy V-8 juice – I usually buy two of the small six-pack cans, add eight or nine cans to the pitcher, then hold the others in reserve in case you need to “fix” anything later.
  • Horseradish – two to three heaping spoonfuls.  The amount depends upon how “hot” you want the bloodys to be – I use a lot, but I’m from NOLA, where if it doesn’t burn, you didn’t do it right.  Also, the horseradish is non-negotiable; failure to use it results in a lackluster bloody.
  • Worcestershire sauce – five or six dashes – you can always add more later.
  • Tony Chachere’s – three to four dashes.  Not sure if you peeps from the snowy north can get Tony’s up there.  If not, any spicy seasoning salt will do.  Some people use Tabasco but I find it to be overkill when using the Tony’s and the horseradish.
  • Lemon juice – to taste.  You don’t want to go overboard and ruin the flavor, the lemon should only be a hint in the final product.
  • VODKA – last, but not least.  The kind of vodka used is up to you.  I don’t go pouring Grey Goose into a pitcher of bloodys, but I’m not going to use anything that comes in a plastic bottle either.
  • Now, some people will add additional salt and pepper, but if you’re using all of the ingredients listed above, it shouldn’t be necessary.  Also – some people add celery seeds.  I am not a fan and therefore usually leave them out – their addition is totally up to your personal preference.

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher and serve over ice.  Garnish with whatever crap you can find in your veggie drawer.  I like to garnish with pickled okra and green beans.  If I get a wild hair, I’ll sometimes pour a bit of the juice into the bloody.   Finally – if you want to kick your bloody up another notch – pour just a finger or two of dark beer into the glass then add ice and pour the bloody over it.  A local establishment known in NOLA for its bloodys had a recently departed bartender who did this using Guinness.  They were awesome.

Hope the MIL’s recipe lives up its hype.  If not, you can suck it.

**  I felt like I’d forgotten something and, of course, the hubs filled me in.  I blame it on a lack of sleep.  The forgotten key ingredient is Clamato.  I usually use about a cup and a half of this.