Drinking season is almost upon us. Or, well, the summer drinking season. Perhaps my perspective is slightly skewed from hanging around too many MFA grad students, but it seems like Alaskans drink a lot. I know more than a handful of folks who brew their own beer, wine, or mead. I used to be married to an engineer who brewed beer with the same kind of record keeping, careful calculations, and mathematical precision of, well, an engineer. And it was good. I think I spent the last few years of our marriage in a drunken haze, not because the marriage was falling apart, but because his IPA was rockin’. I try to be nice to him not just for our kids’ sakes, but because I’m hoping he will keep giving me a few bottles of his IPA every Christmas.
My friends Mike and Gretchen King, former students and employees of UAF, started their own brewery in Paonia, Colorado, Revolution Brewing. The business seems to be doing well—no surprise, since they learned how to brew the good stuff in Fairbanks, Alaska. I follow Revolution Brewing on Facebook and it never fails to surprise me how much fun they always seem to be having: local bands, beer fueled chess games (don’t play chess with Mike, he will slaughter you), family picnic-style gatherings. I wish they had started the brewery here, but forgoing that, I wish he would just send me some of his Miner’s Gold Ale.
Summer drinking in AK is a little different than the self-medicating imbibing that seems to occur in the winter. Summertime drinkers look a little happier playing horseshoes out at the Howling Dog than they do while chain smoking at the Oasis in January. With my deck slowly but surely thawing out, and with the geese apparently returning to the Interior, my thoughts have been turning to BBQs, beers, and the return of the Midnight Sun (don’t be a buzzkill and remind me that there is still snow on the ground and not a leaf to be seen…I know, already). But this summer I’m contemplating some mixed drinks, drinks that require recipes.
If any of my close friends are reading this, they’re laughing their fool heads off right now. I am a notoriously bad drink mixer. Apparently, I approach mixed-drinks like the Swedish Chef, blissfully throwing in any ingredient that sounds good, making a mess, and generally screwing it up. But I vow that this summer will be different. I will learn how to mix drinks. I will study the masters and practice like a good student. I will make a bloody mary you would rather drink than pour down the drain when I’m not looking. I will measure the shots, and you will never again hear me say “that seems about right”.
First up, Paula Deen’s recipe for a Bloody Mary. I’m picking her recipe because while Alaskans have a lockdown on winter boozing, Southerners know how to drink in the morning with great aplomb. Here is Miss Paula’s recipe:
- 1 (46-ounce) can vegetable juice (recommended: V8)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 4 shakes hot sauce
- Ice cubes
- 10 celery sticks, for garnish
Pour the juice into a large pitcher. Add the pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, vodka, celery seed, and hot sauce. Stir well. Pour into jars with lids for traveling. Serve over ice with celery sticks as stirrers.
But we all know I won’t stick to this recipe, right? If my “adjustments” taste good, I will share the recipe with you. If I bork it up, I will pretend like I never wrote this post.
- The complicated chemistry of creating the perfect Bloody Mary (preternaturalpost.wordpress.com)
- Bloody Mary Gives Up Its Flavor Secrets (scientificamerican.com)
- ‘World”s most complex cocktail’ Bloody Mary’s flavour chemistry revealed (news.bioscholar.com)