Last week, I went to the Florida Keys with my family. It was wonderful. When my parents picked me up at the airport, my dad greeted me with “OK, Claire. I got you a jug of table wine, Bloody Mary mix, a bottle of Tabasco, and a package of bologna.” It is nice to be understood.
The next day, I (naturally) made everyone a Bloody Mary, spiking it with my usual pickle juice and horseradish. This of course led to a conversation about add-ins and garnishes. I assumed my family would have nothing to teach me, as I am something of an expert, but I was wrong. My babiest sister, Meredith (who I call “Dith” or “Bug”), informed me that she adds the sauce from canned chipotles in adobo to her Bloodies. I honestly didn’t realise there were two Bloody geniuses in the family.
If you’ve ever used the canned peppers before, you know they have a deep, intensely smoky flavour with a bit of tomato-y tang and a good bit of heat. In short, they are a Bloody Mary miracle worker, and bring tons of taste in a single spoonful. You don’t need a ton—try half a teaspoon of the sauce per glass and add more if needed. If you are in the habit of blending your Bloody, you can whir the whole peppers right into a batch. Just be sure to strain it all through a sieve; you want a cocktail, not a smoothie.