Make a Meal Out of a Bloody Mary

Photographs by Anna Kim

There are two types of people in the world: People who love bloody marys, and people who don’t get them; People who arm their beach totes with airplane bottles of Uncle Smirnoff and a can of tomato juice to whip up a cocktail on a moment’s notice, and people who don’t get it. The poke bloody mary at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui, Hawaii, gets it.


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The much-beloved libation may have been born in New York — in 1934 by bartender Fernand Petiot at St.Regis’ New York’s King Cole Bar, or in the 1980s out of desperation for dealing with a toddler who refused to nap, if you ask my parents — but it melds pretty damn well with Hawaiian flavors. As any bloody mary enthusiast knows, the true beauty of the bloody is its versatility. Think of your bloody as a blank canvas waiting to be trampled on with regional variations (Wisconsinites love a hunk of pimento cheese and pickles to garnish; Manhattanites prefer their dainty blue cheese stuffed-olives with pickled everything but pickles; South Carolinians swear by a yellow heirloom tomato juice base). However you make it, consider this sturdy brunch staple your friend. Forget spoons and slurping, what could be better than a boozy gazpacho you can drink straight from a glass?

To transform this traditionally savory and piquant, peppery drink into island-worthy vibes, The Westin turns to a Hawaiian favorite, poke, to upgrade the classic recipe. “The inspiration for the cocktails dates back to the plantation days when locals melded favorites from many cultures into a single, diverse melting pot,” says Cy Gabourie, director of restaurants and bars at the resort. Rimmed with Sriracha Hawaiian sea salt, each signature poke bloody mary is served with a small cup of house-made poke suspended from the rim of the glass and served with chopsticks. But if you can’t make a quick jaunt to the resort yourself, you don’t have to be so fancy when you whip a batch up yourself. Enjoy it with a fork and a beer shooter — you gotta wash down your meal somehow — in the comfort of your own home. Whatever you do, don’t call it “poké” (its oft mispronounced, much to local chef’s dismay.) 


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Poke Bloody Mary at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas

For Cocktail:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz tomato juice
  • bloody mary mix
  • sea salt, mixed with a dash of Sriracha
  • 1 lime wedge

Trace rim of a tall cocktail glass with lime wedge, rim in Sriracha sea salt. Pack glass with ice, pour two ounces of your favorite vodka over ice. Season to taste with your favorite bloody Mary mix. Garnish with lime and chopsticks.

For Poke:

  • 4 oz. yellowfin tuna (ahi), medium dice
  • splash sesame oil
  • .5 oz shoyu (or tamari or soy sauce)
  • green onions, finely sliced, to taste
  • pinch chili flakes, to taste

In a small mixing bowl, combine yellowfin tuna with sesame oil and shoyu (fancy man’s soy sauce). Mix in chili flakes and green onion. Serve in two-ounce shot glass alongside the bloody mary.

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