The shopping is done. The packages that had to be shipped to far-off climes have all arrived at their destinations safely & soundly. The gifts are wrapped and under the tree and the stockings are hung by the chimney with as much care as is required when one has a gas fireplace. Now the real fun begins!
Having my priorities properly aligned, the first task is the make the ‘bloody cocktail’ mix; a holiday tradition since the turn of the century. It isn’t technically “bloody Mary” mix because I include clam juice. Canadian friends will correctly assert that, with the addition of vodka, this results not in a “Bloody Mary” but a “Bloody Caesar”. I few years ago at a favorite café in Santa Fé [shout out to “The Shed”] we discovered the Bloody Maria; a cocktail made with Bloody Mary mix by substituting tequila for vodka. It is tasty but, again, a purist would note that the addition of clam juice would yield something else. I am sure someone has christened this but I don’t know what name applies. I considered “Bloody Calpurnia”. By naming it after Caesar’s wife it camps on the connection between Caesar and clam juice. Certainly as a cocktail it is above reproach but there is no implied reference to the tequila. There needs to be some Latin influence in the name and I mean “Latin” as in the ethnic group not “Latin” as in the ‘dead’ language. I have decided to go with “Bloody Carlota” in honor of the former Empress of Mexico.
There are many variations of this cocktail mix. This is the Casa de Harper recipe.
64 oz. tomato juice
10 oz Beef Consommé
8 oz Clam Juice
5 oz Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon celery salt
2 Tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons horseradish
Hot Sauce, to taste. (I avoid vinegar-based hot sauces like Tabasco)
Refrigerate overnight. Stir well before serving
Pour over ice with vodka, tequila, or “virgin”
Garnish with lime, olives (jalapeño-stuffed!!), celery stalk, etc.
It is a little more work than buying a pre-made mix…. and there is the repetitive stress injury associated with freshly grinding 2 tablespoons of pepper but; what the heck! Holiday Cheers!