“You can order a Bloody Mary anywhere in the country but you can get a good one only in the South,” says Donald Link, executive chef and co-owner of Herbsaint and Cochon in New Orleans. In “Bloody Good,” (Garden & Gun, September/October 2008, p. 26), Link shares his recipe for this Southern scorcher with Francine Maroukian.
The Cochon Bloody Mary starts with a V-8 base, which gets “character and depth” from a hefty dash of pork jus, a reduction of pork stock. (Since Cochon serves seriously piggy dishes such as Louisiana cochon with turnips, cabbage and cracklins, and has an“in-house boucherie,” a pot of said stock is surely simmering on the back burner all day long.) But the drink gets its real kicks from 10 spicy ingredients, including ground pepper, whole grain mustard, garlic powder, Crystal brand hot sauce, green hot sauce, and juice from a jar of pickled okra. And don’t forget to stick a pod of pickled okra, the hotter the better (in my view), in the Bloody along with the usual celery stalk.
Oh, yes, there’s vodka in it too.
So why are Southern Bloodies so tasty? According to Link, that’s because “there’s more going on that requires daytime drinking : Football games, tailgating, the long, leisurely brunch. And here in New Orleans we have the best reasons for morning drinking—the night before.”