The Bloody Jerk Cocktail

Serves 6 to 8

Swapping vodka for rum, New Orleans mixologist Nick Dietrich puts a Caribbean spin on the Bloody Mary

Photo: Johnny Autry

Developing a unique Bloody Mary recipe is no easy task. Doing it for a crowd of New Orleanian cocktail sophisticates? That’s an even taller order. Still, Nick Detrich, bartender and managing partner of Cane & Table, set the challenge for himself shortly after his establishment opened in 2013. “I was going for something that was both very familiar and very original,” he says. So first he jettisoned the vodka. Playing off the restaurant’s Caribbean flavors, he started instead with caramel-tinged dark rum, then crafted a jerk-inspired riff that manages to be savory, spicy, and sweet. A mix of fresh, local Creole and Roma tomatoes forms the drink’s base. To that, he adds allspice, onion, and garlic for the umami factor; ginger and vinegar for pucker; and chiles in place of horseradish for heat. As for the cocktail’s requisite pickled garnishes, Detrich relies on an old bartender’s trick: “Just take Tabasco pepper jelly, shove the vegetables in there, and let them sit for a few days.”


    • 1 qt. fresh tomato juice (recipe below)

    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

    • 2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar

    • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

    • 1 thumb-size piece ginger, peeled and grated

    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

    • 3 Thai chiles, seeded and sliced

    • 1 tbsp. allspice

    • 1 pinch salt

    • 1 cup dark rum (Myers's or El Dorado 8)

    • Garnishes: pickled sweet peppers, pickled onions, and fresh thyme sprigs

  • Fresh Tomato Juice

    • 3 lb. tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and quartered

    • 1 bunch celery leaves

    • 10 shakes Tabasco

    • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    • 1/2 lemon, squeezed


  1. Combine all ingredients, except rum and garnishes, in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Add rum and pulse. Garnish with pickled peppers and onions and a thyme sprig.

  2. For the fresh tomato juice:

    Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until liquefied (working in batches if necessary). Strain liquid through find-mesh sieve, pressing to remove all liquid and discarding solids. Use immediately.

Recipe from Nick Detrich of Cane and Table in New Orleans, Louisiana.