Red O's Steve Calabro - Photo by Mar Yvette

Mixology 101: Tie-Dye Bloody Mary

Bartender, I need a drink! And not just any drink. A Bloody Mary! The best cure for that bacchanalian night you just had (ok … allegedly had), the hallowed Bloody Mary is one of the most popular cocktails around. And nobody does it better in LA (and perhaps anywhere) than mixology madman Steve Calabro of Red O on Melrose.

So what does it take to make the perfect Bloody Mary? Two words: Fresh ingredients. “We use fresh ingredients straight from the kitchen.” says Calabro. Oh, and beer. “I use a little dark Mexican beer and Beluga vodka. Every day we make a roasted tomato sauce and mix it with the fresh tomato juice that I make, put in some Tabasco Chipotle, celery seeds, celery salt, fresh and creamed horseradish, and lime juice,” he says, not sounding the least bit exhausted. “We don’t want to make it too complex, but at the same time we want to get the depth of flavor.”

The result? A potent, smoky, celery-esque and supremely spicy concoction lifted by a just-picked tomatoey-ness. “With our Bloody Mary we rim the glass with celery salt and Tajin [a Mexican seasoning powder of chili peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice]. Then we take yellow tomato juice and pour that on top and it actually becomes a cool tie-dye Bloody Mary.”

If you can’t make it to Red O for this beer-ific Bloody Mary, read on for the DIY version.

Red O Bloody Mary - Photo by Mar Yvette

Oh bloody swell!

Roasted Bloody Mary
2 oz vodka
3 oz Bloody Mary mix (see below)
2 oz yellow tomato juice (seed & blend in food processor; remove and strain)
Celery, olive & lemon to garnish

Bloody Mary mix
64 oz tomato juice
4 tbsp creamed horseradish
1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish root
3 oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Tabasco Chipotle sauce
2 tbsp traditional Tabasco sauce
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 bottle dark Mexican beer like Negro Modelo
16 oz roasted tomato sauce (see below)

Roasted tomato sauce
12-16 Roma tomatoes
1 sliced white onion
2 Serrano peppers
1 garlic clove
Toss ingredients in olive oil and salt to taste. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and place in 375-degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until tomatoes begin to char. Remove and let cool. Take skin off tomatoes and place all ingredients into a food processor or blender until smooth.

Related links:

Tasty beer cocktails
Q&A with Chef Rick Bayless

There are 4 comments for this article
    • aram at 4:34 pm

      Yep, I think this might go be beyond our kitchen supplies… might have to be creative and come up w/ some workarounds… or just go back to Red O!

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