Dirty Sue Bloody Mary Spice Mix, $22.95 (16 ounces)
We’re headed into Mother’s Day, which is arguably the biggest brunch occasion on the calendar. And that has us thinking about our favorite brunch cocktail — namely, the Bloody Mary.
But that also begs a question: What mix should we use?
True, you can make the cocktail from scratch with tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a few other ingredients (don’t forget the vodka, either!). But we find this is a drink that benefits from a quality mix in order to get the proportions just right.
Dirty Sue, a cocktail company created by veteran Los Angeles bartender Eric “ET” Tecosky, has made its mark in the mixer space already with its Dirty Sue Premium Olive Juice, a go-to item for many fans of the Dirty Martini. It also has created a line of garnishes, from stuffed olives to cherries. But for Tecosky, the ultimate quest was perfecting a Bloody Mary mix. He tinkered with various ideas, until it finally occurred to him that what he needed was…olive juice. So that key ingredient became the mix’s building block.
The Dirty Sue mix differs, however, from many on the market in that it is meant to be combined with tomato juice (and then vodka). The idea is that you can control the degree of spice in the drink. Tecosky says his preferred ratio is ¾ of an ounce of spice mix, 3 ounces of quality tomato juice and a shot of vodka.
What we think about it
At first, we were bothered by the fact that this is a mix that still requires us to get another mixer (meaning the tomato juice) to make the drink. But then, we realized the genius of that very idea — sometimes we like a super spicy Mary (say, on those brunch occasions when we really need a wake-up call), sometimes we prefer just a little boost of flavor. The mix itself has got a singular savory quality that is quite pleasing to the palate. It must be that olive juice!
How to enjoy it
We’ve already given you the preferred proportions, but you can play around with this to your heart’s (or stomach’s) content. We also found the mix works equally well in an alcohol-free Virgin Mary. Tecosky suggests using it as well in a Michelada, a beer-based cocktail.