These days the Bloody Mary is the standard modus intoxicati-by-the-pitcher of the young and hip on Sunday afternoons. But for me, the tomato tincture has always evoked images of little old ladies with hollow legs who drank it “for the vitamins” (see any episode of The Jeffersons featuring “Mother Jefferson”, or my own Great Aunt Gladys, may she rest in peace). From whatever generation you hail, you’ll find that it’s the acidity of tomato and lemon juices punching you square in the salivary glands, combined with enough crusty salt and seasonings to make you feel like you’re sucking on the anchor of the Titanic, that make this cocktail so mouth watering. The slow burn of horseradish, tabasco, and vodka doesn’t hurt either. And if you’re from Maryland, like me, a Bloody Mary isn’t served without a hefty dose of Old Bay, a spice mix consisting mostly of rock salt, celery seed, and smoked paprika traditionally used to flavor steamed blue crabs, mixed directly into the cocktail as well as crusted onto the rim of the glass.
Let’s talk garnishes. Gone are the days where a pale green stalk of uncelebrated celery was enough to dress the Bloody Mary. Food fashion has recently dictated that our beloved red headed vodka vixen be adorned in all manner of grotesque ornamentation from peeled shrimp, crab claws, and fried bacon to entire skewers of antipasto. My favorite is the simple dill pickle, which is why this recipe calls for a splash of pickle juice. This provides acidity complementary to the lemon and also imparts a nice dill flavor, giving The Bloody Mary deviled egg an extra layer of complexity. Bottom line on garnishes for this recipe: whatever you would like on your Bloody Mary will probably work out well atop this egg.
12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, sliced,
yolks set aside for filling
12 hard-boiled egg yolks
3 T. mayo
3 T. spicy bloody mary mix
3 T. cocktail sauce
1 t. pickle juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
Old Bay seasoning, to taste (I like 1 t.)
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Garnish Suggestion: .
flat leaf parsely or celery leaf
Big Spender Garnish Suggestion:
crab meat or steamed shrimp
Combine the filling ingredients in a food processor, working with the yolks, mayo, and bloody mary mix first. Depending on the size of the yolks and thickness of the mayo, this filling runs the danger of becoming too runny. (Trust me, I missed half of Christmas morning boiling more eggs so I could thicken the filling with additional yolks).
Add the remaining ingredients and fill your eggs. Garnish however you would garnish your Bloody Mary, kick back, and enjoy brunch. Remember to tip your drag queens if you're at a drag brunch. Those gals work hard.