Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quest for the Best Bloody Mary

By Maureen C. Petrosky

This past Sunday morning, New Jersey residents anywhere near the banks of the Delaware were treated to an eerie awakening: a heavy white fog so thick you couldn’t see five feet in front of you. The cobwebs glistening in the morning dew and an undeniable chill in the air let us know Fall is surely setting in. It’s no surprise that Halloween celebrations have always been so big here in the northeast. Our October setting is ideal for all things spooky. It’s only appropriate we talk about spirits this week. It’s also apropos that a drink with the word bloody in it has emerged as this season’s must sip.

For years, it’s been part of my lifework to discover all sorts of taste bud euphoria. While some experiences are easy to find, others continue to elude me, one in particular being my relentless pursuit of the perfect Tiramisu. When it’s made from scratch, achieving perfection can easily become reality. However, I have yet to savor one served in a restaurant that lives up to my expectations. Recently, I have abandoned this mission and set out on a new culinary adventure: the quest for the best Bloody Mary.

Like the Tiramisu, it is composed of very few ingredients yet there seem to be endless renditions--from spicy to salty, with an array of garnishes from the mere lemon wedge to those topped with what you might call a salad. I must admit, I like to eat mine as much as sip it. A skewer of sliced red pepper, a crisp cucumber, half a pickle, a huge green olive, a whole celery stalk, a salty rim - and that wedge of lemon--YUM! It’s got to be spicy, but not so much so that it ruins my mouth for brunch. As we always say, start with good ingredients and you’ll end up with good results. So Jersey, show us what you’ve got. We want to know where you go for the best Bloody. Until then, here’s to a bloody good day!

A Winner: Whiskey Willy’s Original Bloody Mary Mix- This is an excellent start to a great Bloody Mary. It’s tangy, got that horseradish bite, and works wonders when paired with a premium vodka.

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