If you read our interview with Lou Amdur (Part 1, Part 2), owner of the wine bar, LOU, you know that if you present him with a simple question, like, "What should we drink on New Year's Eve?" he will give you an answer that is equal parts invention and knowledge, while never making you feel like a total dummy for asking. He even threw in a few handy tips for over-indulgers, one of which involved a classic hair of the dog solution: a headache-lifting Bloody Mary. Judging from his instructions, spicy is good, and shortcuts are bad. But as long as your vodka isn't total swill, you're good to go.
Turn the page for his recipe.
From: Lou Amdur, of LOU: A Wine Bar
2 ounces non-rot gut vodka
1 chipotle pepper, chopped
small piece of celeriac
a few sprigs chervil
½ teaspoon fresh prepared horseradish (or more...)
1/2 cup tomato juice
juice from one lemon
1 celery stick, leafy end left on
1 lime wedge for garnish
1. Go to the farmers market and buy some real celery from Finley or Givens -- none of that pallid, cello-wrapped crap will do. You want celery that actually tastes like something; it should be bitter! I don't know if bitter flavors actually help settle your stomach, but even if it is a placebo-based fiction, I still accept it as gospel. Also, don't ruin your Bloody Mary with stale horseradish. How long has that pathetic, worn out jar been sitting in your fridge? Go on, live a little: buy a horseradish root and prepare some fresh stuff.
[NOTE: Here's a link to preparing fresh horseradish.]
2. Pour tomato juice in a Pyrex measuring cup, add chopped chipotle, and microwave on high for about a minute, or until the juice is steaming hot.
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3. Let the mixture soak until the pepper is quite soft, then add it to a blender along with celeriac, and chervil. Purée, strain, and let cool. You will have smoky, spicy, seasoned tomato juice. Add a few drops of Tabasco if you like a more fiery drink. You can also use chipotle in adobo.
Sidenote: The best Bloody Mary I have ever had used tomato eau de vie rather than vodka -- but good luck finding that. Plus it is expensive (40 lbs of tomatoes make 750 ml of eau de vie).
4. Fill shaker with ice, then add tomato juice, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Shake, and then fill a tall, ice cube-filled glass. Use celery and lime wedge for garnish.
To learn more about Lou Amdur's thoughts on all things drinkable, check out his blog.