Nothing says Sunday morning like the perfectly chilled bloody mary. Spicy, tangy, smoky, salty, and the essential balance of vitamins and liquor to bite the dog, bloody marys have always been my go-to drink at brunch, far ahead the orange and pink spectrum of mimosas and bellinis.
For years I have been revising my own bloody mary recipe, and ordering them at every brunch spot I visit to try out different variations, but rarely do I rely on a mix.
This past weekend while visiting the Brooklyn Flea Market I stopped at McClure’s Pickle’s stand, and sampled their Spicy Pickles, a crunchy, sour pickle combined with the intense flavors of cayenne and habanero peppers. After asking a few questions about the Detroit and Brooklyn based company founded by a pair of brothers, a pickling jar filled with a vibrant red liquid, wrapped in McClure’s signature vintage-inspired label caught my eye.
In the jar was their Spicy Bloody Mary Mix ($8 for 32oz), a mixture of their spicy pickle brine, combined with tomato paste, fresh pressed cucumber juice, and other fresh ingredients like garlic, chopped peppers, dill seeds and black pepper swirling in the bottom.
The McClure’s started pickling in 2006, using their great grandmother’s recipe, and use as much local produce as they can while it’s in season. They hand pack every jar, hand slice every cucumber, and even their labels are created with soy and plant-based inks with wind powered electricity.
Their careful attention to their product has certainly paid off. Their bloody mary mix is not for the weak-palate, it’s flavor is extremely bold, and reaches far beyond the classic recipe. For those who enjoy a little olive juice in their bloody mary, or extra celery salt, this mix is a must try. It may be too salty for some, but the strong taste of vinegar and spices is balanced a bit with the addition of cucumber juice. I tried it with my own Cucumber Infused Vodka (Easy Recipe Below), which can also be used in other refreshing summer cocktails.
Visit the McClure’s website for information on where their products can be found, recipes, and more about this fabulous local company.
Cucumber Infused Vodka
1 organic cucumber (in season at local farmer’s markets)
1 liter vodka
Slice cucumbers and place in a large glass container, or anything suitable for liquids, and cover with vodka. Save bottle, as you can return the finished product to it after straining for easier pouring and storage. Store sealed in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Because cucumber is such a mild flavor it takes a bit longer. After this time, strain or pour infused vodka into it’s original container and enjoy. More recipes and ideas to come.