You can order a Bloody Mary anywhere in the country, but you can get a good one only in the South. Maybe it’s the complexity of the spices; maybe it’s the peppery heat. But I think we’re better at making them because there’s more going on that requires daytime drinking: football games, tailgating, the long, leisurely brunch. And here in New Orleans, we have the best reason for morning drinking—the night before. So let’s not forget the Bloody Mary’s hair-of-the-dog power; it comes in handy.
At Cochon, I start with a V8 base and add some pork jus for flavor and body. The pork jus is a reduction of pork stock that we use to add character and depth to the drink, kind of like a Bloody Bull that uses beef stock. But then it’s all about the spice: pepper, grainy mustard, fresh lemon juice. And snacks—I gotta have my snacks. My Bloody Mary has to have pickled okra and a long stem of celery, preferably a crisp inner stalk with tender light green leaves. The glass should mirror that natural silhouette: tall with straight sides. Not only does the shape help the drink stay properly mixed, you can fit a lot of ice cubes in there. It’s hot down here.