Kyle Bullen of Eco Bartneder joins The Discerning Brute’s growing coterie of expert contributors with this take on the classic Bloody Mary – just in time for the weekend. Kyle’s expertise in the realm of cocktails, infusions, wines and spirits is unparalleled, having been sought by renowned restaurants from San Francisco’ Millennium to New York’s Candle 79.
– Editor, Joshua Katcher
photo by Spencer Kohn
There is nothing quite like enjoying a Sunday Brunch with people you love in an outdoor garden or restaurant patio. That is until you’ve enjoyed a Sunday Brunch with a Bloody Mary made from freshly picked peppers and tomatoes blended in your kitchen and garnished with homemade pickled cherry tomatoes. Now marry that with organic vodka doing more for our environment than our current government and you’ve really created a masterpiece of a brunch!
Where ever I have lived, be it Pittsburgh, San Francisco, New York, or good ol’ Ohio, having a weekend brunch will always remain one of my favorite things to do. It is nearly impossible to have a poor time, well until your Bloody Mary comes and it taste like preservatives or there is so much horseradish it taste like biting into the entire root. And have you ever seen one of those in person? Trust me; you don’t want to bite into that for more reasons than one. They don’t call it HORSEradish for nothing!
While in Ohio over the weekend, my parents, my friend Paul, and I created a Sunday Brunch before I headed back to the airport. I know living in Metro New York doesn’t afford the possibility of walking down the hill to a lush garden bursting with so much fruit you can’t possibly consume all of it in a season. Earlier that Thursday we pickled cherry tomatoes and canned hot peppers for this reason. And what a delightful treat on a Bloody Mary we all thought!
After heading down to the garden, we picked fresh tomatoes and peppers for our mix. In New York or other cities we are graced with bountiful farmer’s markets, so for your mix head on down to Union Square for some locally grown and organic produce; both the Earth and your taste buds will thank you.
The great thing about fresh Bloody Mary mix is the creativity it affords the maker. As long as you stick to fresh ingredients and flavors you love, you can’t go wrong. So play around with prep like roasting the tomatoes first or using fresh heirloom varieties. Throw in your favorite herbs like basil—fresh heirloom blended with Thai Basil is a real treat. I suggest experimenting with different varieties of fresh peppers. You can always stay traditional with Tabasco after the pepper season passes.
THE OHIO BLOODY MARY
- • 3 cup Roasted cherry tomatoes
- • ¾ cup filtered water
- • 2 large hot yellow peppers
- • 5 fresh basil leaves
- • Juice of 2 limes (cherry tomatoes are not very acidic, rather they are sweet, balance
- • accordingly to the acid level of your tomatoes)
- • ½ tbsp horseradish root (bonus points if you find it fresh and grate it yourself)
- • 5 dashes Worcestershire sauce (vegan varieties are available—others contain anchovy)
- • 1oz olive juice
- • Dash of salt and black pepper
- 1. Blend above ingredients on high until liquified.
- 2. Add ice to a 10-12 oz. glass filled with 1 ½ oz. of your favorite local or organic vodka. I like to use TRU Organic coming out of Los Angeles from the Greenbar Collective.*
- 3. Garnish is serious on a Bloody Mary. It can make or break it! I find it usually essential to have a celery stick, it not only looks nice but it adds a refreshing flavor. We we fortunate enough to have housemade picked tomatoes which were quite delicious. I have never seen them for retail purchase, so find a different pickle substitute at the local market.
- 4. An olive and lemon or lime wedge will finish it off.
- 5. Sometimes a spiced salt rim is also nice and some fresh herbs; play around, the possibilities are endless!
*The Greenbar Collective is superb. For every bottle of liquor produced, they match it by planting a tree. Because the company is already carbon neutral, they offset more carbon with the trees and become a carbon NEGATIVE company. For you, this means by drinking their liquor, you do more for the planet than by not drinking it. Save the world one Bloody Mary at a time!
You can find it at Bowery and Vine for retail purchase, and if you prefer someone else making your drinks, head over to Candle 79 for a TRU vodka martini and other Greenbar Collective liquors to get your tree planting on.