1960s Recipes + Menus

Herbal Bloody Mary

July 1960
    There aren’t many savory drinks in the cocktail lexicon, and for good reason (they’re usually only palatable as morning-after palliatives). The Bloody Mary works, when it works, because of the balance between tomato sweetness and lemon acidity—the spiciness and texture create a difficult balancing act. You’ll notice that there is no horseradish, hot sauce, or no Worcestershire in this recipe, but the herbs more than make up for any missing flavor, and the soy sauce and MSG (which you can, of course, omit) add about as much umami as you’d want in an 8-ounce glass. Bloody Marys are not for everyone (including, apparently, David Embury, who wrote, in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, “A classic example of combining in one potion both the poison and the antidote”), but this is a delicious variation, and it makes great use of the herbs growing on your kitchen windowsill.

    To 1 1/2 quarts tomato juice, add 1 tablespoon chopped chives, 1 teaspoon each of soy sauce and monosodium glutamate, 1/2 teaspoon each of chopped marjoram, basil, and savory, salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste, and the juice of 1 lemon. Chill the mixture overnight. To serve, strain 4 ounces of the mixture into an 8-ounce glass filled with ice cubes and add 2 ounces vodka.
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