Here’s a confession: I’m not the biggest fan of the Bloody Mary for two big reasons. First, all that tomato juice: I’m not crazy about savory drinks. Second, all that vodka: there’s no room in my bar for a neutral spirit that basically exists to liquor up a drink without adding any flavor. So for those of you desperately searching for a post-New Year hangover cure looking for a delicious brunch cocktail, here’s a slight variation that’s even better than the Bloody Mary: the Akvavit-based Danish Mary. – Andrew
Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper
2 oz Akvavit
4 oz Tomato Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
2 Dashes Tabasco Sauce
A Pinch of Salt + Pepper
Combine everything in a glass filled with ice, the pour back and forth between two glasses to roll the ingredients together. (Tomato juice foams a lot when shaken; this is a much gentler method of mixing.) Strain into a new glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon and/or celery and enjoy!
The Danish Mary is rich and savory, with a touch of spicy heat, just like a Bloody Mary, but even more complex, thanks to the herbaceous spiciness of the Akvavit. Akvavit (also Akevitt or Aquavit) is, as we’ve mentioned before, is a Scandinavian liquor flavored with spices and herbs, primarily flavors like caraway and dill, but also lemon, mint, ginger, cardamom, allspice and the like. It imparts a depth of flavor to the Danish Mary that vodka can’t match.
The easiest way to make a Danish (or Bloody) Mary is with bottled tomato juice. No one will judge you if you use this. But fresh juice really does make a difference, in this drink and every other. I muddled three medium tomatoes on the vine to get about 5 oz of juice; just make sure to filter the juice through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, or your Danish Mary will be pulpy. If you’re feeling extra fancy, try heirloom tomatoes. Modern tomatoes are bred for their color, firmness, and smoothness, but definitely not for taste, so heirloom tomatoes will give your drink a much richer tomato flavor. If that’s your thing.
The origins of the Bloody Mary are a little murky, but may have been invented at the New York Bar in Paris – the same bar at which the French 75 was invented – in the early 20th century. It makes sense that no one really remembers who first mixed one up, since it was invented as a hangover cure. Everyone around was probably too drunk, or too hungover, to write down or remember the details.
Just make sure to finish your Danish Mary before brunch ends. I’m pretty sure it’s against the law to drink one of these at any other time of day.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper