If the title wasn’t a big enough hint, the drink and book pairing this time is Bloody Mary with Stephen King’s first book, Carrie. I’ve read Carrie recently as my first introduction to Stephen King’s writing (like most horror fans, I’ve only seen the movies) but I’m excited to read it again!
I think Bloody Marys are the most customize-able drinks. They range from spice levels, can have a variety of garnishes and taste just the same without the alcohol. My first memories of this drink comes from my mom. My mom being a dedicated Southwest Airlines customer that she still is today, would always received drink coupons in the mail. We would fly on Southwest to Texas every summer to visit my grandparents. I remember sitting next to her as she ordered a Bloody Mary. The flight attendants would bring her a tiny bottle of vodka, an equally tiny can of tomato juice, and a plastic cup with way too much ice.
I always admired my parents (how rare, I know) because they were always admired by everyone else. So, pre-teen me would watch my mom prep the most simplest version of a Bloody Mary and I would crave the taste of it just to be as cool as she was (and still is). She would let me taste her Virgin Bloody Mary before she added vodka, so I got pretty close before I was a teen.
Growing up in Florida is pretty strange. One of the strange things we did was hosting hurricane parties. The morning after every hurricane, we would load up in the mini van and drive to a friends house. Two other families, close to my parents, would meet us there. Someone would cook breakfast while we chatted about how we “survived” the hurricane and my dad would make Bloody Marys. And like most teens with cool parents, I was allowed a Bloody Mary with the rest of the adults. I haven’t had a Bloody Mary as good as his since.
Like a good daughter, I consulted my dad and his wife on how they make a Bloody Mary. My stepmom was a bartender and so was my dad (at least at the hurricane parties), so needless to say they were my experts. It was easy to hear their excitement over the phone as they shared their personal recipes over each other. I was surprised to find out they use different Bloody Mary mixes as their base and different preferences in preparing the drink.
Standard Bloody Mary: 5 oz tomato juice, 2 oz vodka, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, 2 dashes of hot sauce, a squeeze of lime, and salt & pepper to taste. Garnished with pimento olives and a celery stick.
What I learned from my dad and stepmom, is how unique Bloody Marys are to each person. My dad like to use Mr. & Mrs. T and then add each ingredient, while my stepmom like to use Zing Zang and only add vodka. I can imagine everyone has their own twist or secret to their perfect Bloody Mary. I think there should be a BuzzFeed personality quiz based on your Bloody Mary concoction! Here’s how I imagine it would look like….
Choose a brunch setting and we will tell you what Bloody Mary mix you are!
“You Got: Mr. & Mrs. T You like to make everyone happy at the party! You take your time customizing everyone’s drink. No two Bloody Marys are the same!”
“You Got: Zing Zang You are no-nonsense party bartender! You make everyone the same drink so the party can keep going!”
Deep down inside, I’m a daddy’s girl and went for Mr. & Mrs. T. I like to add my own extras and make it a little spicy. I went for the standard Bloody Mary recipe but substituted the celery stick for a carrot stick. For a Virgin Bloody Mary take out the vodka and spice it up more!