Bloody Maria – Dani Valent

Bloody Maria

A frisky Mexican spin on a classic cocktail

A classic Bloody Mary is great – a spiced tomato cocktail to kick your day off with a bang – but my Bloody Maria is next level! We bring Mexican festivity with mezcal and jalapeño peppers, dialling up the party vibes, and the addition of bacon and pickles turns a morning tipple into a substantial drink and snack.

I love nibbling on pickles but they’re also great as part of your taco or burrito spread, or with charcuterie and ploughman’s platters. This is a basic pickle formula that you can apply to any vegetable, so it’s a super handy recipe even if you’re not in a cocktail frame of mind.

This recipe first appeared in the Brunch chapter of my Entertaining cookbook. If you don’t have my book yet, you can purchase it here. I’m delighted to share the recipe online as well.

Makes approx: 6 tall beer or Collins glasses
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

Pickled vegetables

  • 100 grams (3.7 oz) mixed vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, red onion, red capsicum, celery heart, celery leaves
  • 3 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp fine salt
  • 250 grams (8.8 oz) white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 coriander seeds, optional

Bacon batons

  • 6 rashers of bacon (see Tips)

Cocktail mix

  • 2 whole fresh jalapeño peppers, stalks removed
  • 1 tsp flaked salt or celery salt
  • 750 grams (26.5 oz) tomato juice (see Tips)
  • 80 grams (3 oz) lime juice, from approx. 4 limes
  • 250 grams (8.8 oz) mezcal
  • 10 ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable pickling liquid
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

To serve

  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ice cubes, approx. 20

Method

Pickled vegetables

1. Thinly slice vegetables (use a mandolin, if you have one). Combine in a bowl.

2. Place sugar, salt, vinegar, bay leaf and coriander seeds into mixing bowl and cook 8 min/Varoma/speed 2. Pour hot liquid over the prepared vegetables and allow to cool, then refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to pickle.

Bacon Batons

3. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Thread bacon onto skewers, either in strips or in rolls. (Best practice depends on size of rasher.)

4. Lay skewers on a lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate skewers and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. Transfer onto paper towel to drain, then remove skewers from bacon.

Cocktail mix

5. Chargrill jalapenos until blackened, either over a gas flame, or in a dry, heavy-based pan. Place charred jalapenos into mixing bowl. Add salt or celery salt. Blend 3 sec/speed 8. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula, then blend 3 sec/speed 9.

6. Add tomato juice, lime juice, mezcal, ice, pickling liquid and smoked paprika. Blend 45 sec/speed 9.

To serve

7. Take a lime wedge and lightly rub around each rim. Combine salt and chilli powder on a flat plate and upturn the lime-rimmed glasses to dip into the chilli-salt mix.

8. Strain pickled vegetables into a serving dish.

9. Add ice cubes to each glass and fill with cocktail mix.

10. Lay a bacon baton across the top of each glass and serve immediately with pickled vegetables and remaining lime wedges.

Tips

  • The best and easiest type of bacon to use for this recipe is streaky bacon; prosciutto can also be used.
  • Make your own tomato juice by blending ripe tomatoes 45 sec/speed 10. Add water to think to a desired consistency. For this recipe, you want a consistency similar to pouring cream.
  • The pickled vegetables can be used in tacos or burritos

Variations

  • Leave out the pickled vegetables and/or bacon for a quicker version.
  • Substitute white wine vinegar with rice vinegar
  • Replace the mezcal with soda water for a non-alcoholic cocktail.
  • If jalapenos cannot be sourced, use long green chillies.

More about this recipe

  • I’m not averse to a Thermomix cocktail – check out some of my favourites here.
  • Tomatoes are the best! Here are some great tomato recipes.
  • Buy my Entertaining cookbook here.
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