Happy (almost) holiday weekend, friends!! Steven and I took a little mini-vacation up to the north shore for a few days, so we’ve both had the whole week off work which has never happened before! We’ve been working on tons of projects and cleaning and organizing of our house, which was so needed and feels so refreshing, but I’ve also been a bit MIA because of it all.
It does mean, though, that I’ll have some fun new stuff to share with you all soon! I’ve still been adjusting to my summer schedule and trying to balance my hobbies and blogging with my personal life. I’ve been trying to make date nights and spending time with friends a priority over the summer, and since we’re finally all settled into our house and have our yard figured out, we’re excited to host a little 4th of July party at our house this year! It’ll be very casual, but my hostess self is super excited to have some people over and, better yet, serve some yummy homemade food and drinks.
Summer food to me means one thing: grilling. From the time it’s remotely warm out until as long as possible into the fall, I grill the vast majority of our meals. It’s easy, healthy, and doesn’t make a huge mess or heat up the house. And then last week I was grilling some vegetables and it came to me – what if you made a grilled Bloody Mary?
A good Bloody Mary is one of my favorite drinks, especially in the summer. It helps that they pair perfectly with brunch, and that Wisconsin makes them into a small meal all by themselves – most restaurants will add meat, cheese, pickles, olives, and sometimes more to their Bloodys. Steve and I have enjoyed trying out different flavors of Bloody Marys from lots of different places, but I’d never really ventured into making my own mix from scratch before.
I wanted to create a Bloody Mary that has all my favorite things – fresh ingredients, a bit of char from the grill, and lots of yummy toppings. And this one fits the bill perfectly.
It’s also pretty easy to make, although it does take some prep. You’ll simply grill some tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and peppers (if you prefer), blend them all up, add some spices, strain out any seeds or chunks, and let the mixture chill for awhile (overnight is best). Then just add vodka and the garnishes of your choice! I added grilled mini peppers, local cheese curds, spicy pickles and a grilled bacon strip to ours, but the options are really endless.
We prefer our Bloody Marys with a kick, so this recipe is on the spicier side. You may want to start with a smaller amount of hot sauce and cayenne pepper, and add it a bit at a time until you reach the right level of spice. As with most drink recipes, this one is pretty versatile, so play around with whatever sounds good! I added some pickle juice, hot sauce, chipotle pepper and lime chile seasoning to ours for an extra flavor kick, but some people prefer horseradish or more garlic, so it all comes down to preference. No matter your spice choices, the grilled tomatoes and veggies in this recipe lead to a super rich, flavorful Bloody that’s not overly “tomato-y”.
I can’t wait to serve these to our friends for our 4th of July party! Tell me, what are your plans for the 4th of July? What are your favorite summer cocktails? Do you like Bloody Marys? I’d love to hear from you!
- 8-10 ripe tomatoes
- 3 jalapeno peppers
- 3 mini bell peppers, or 1/2 of a bell pepper, sliced
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/4 small onion, sliced
- 29 oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 c. water
- 1 Tbsp. dill pickle juice
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
- 1 tsp. chile lime seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1-2 oz vodka
- Pickle spears
- Fresh celery
- Bacon skewers
- Grilled mini peppers
- Cheese sticks or curds
- Jerky sticks
- Lemon/lime wedges
- Slice tomatoes in half and peppers and onions into smaller pieces, and put on skewers.
- Salt and pepper the tomatoes and other vegetables.
- Grill vegetable skewers and celery stalk at medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred and soft. Set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, combine grilled tomatoes, peppers, onions and celery, adding tomato sauce and water, or tomato juice of your choice.
- Once smooth, add spices and blend again.
- Pour mixture through a strainer to remove any seeds or chunks, and store in a pitcher in the fridge.
- Allow to chill for several hours, or preferably overnight, before serving.
- Line the rims of your serving glasses with lemon or lime juice, and dip into a mixture of course salt and pepper.
- Fill glasses 1/2 with ice.
- Pour 1 oz (or two if you prefer stronger cocktails) into the glass, followed by 6-8 oz. of the Bloody Mary mix.
- Garnish with toppings of your choice.
- This will make a spicy Bloody Mary mix. You may prefer to start with 1/4-1/2 tsp. of chipotle pepper and hot sauce, and taste it before adding more.
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