Got a bumper crop of heirloom beauties and need a non-pasta alternative? Think brunch beverage. We looked no further than Rookwood alum and Cheapside founder Rom Wells for an innovative and seasonal alternative to the Clamato-heavy versions you’re used to belting back. Make sure you load up the garnish pick with olives, pickled veg, and a citrus wedge or two. Who says you can’t sip your salad?
Rom Wells’s Bloody Mary Mix (Makes one gallon)
28 oz. can of whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
10–12 whole heirloom tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and seeded
2–3 celery stalks, chopped
½ fresh whole horseradish root
3 fresh limes, juiced
2 fresh lemons, juiced
3–5 oz. Sriracha sauce (more for a spicier drink)
3 oz. Fernet Branca
2 oz. Worcestershire sauce
1–2 garlic cloves, finely minced salt and pepper to taste (Wells likes “lots of salt”)
32 oz. vodka, tequila, or gin
1. Peel the horseradish root and finely grate it.
2. In a commercial-grade blender, such as a Vitamix, combine all ingredients except the alcohol, and purée. “I prefer the mix thick,” Wells says, “but it should be thin enough to pass through a straw.”
3. For each 8-ounce portion of mix (over ice), add 2 ounces of your favorite small batch vodka, tequila, or gin. Be creative with your garnish. Try pickled okra, candied bacon, Slim Jims—or all three.
Originally published in the August 2014 issue