As a morning-after drink, the Bloody Mary earns obvious points for being approachable (the vodka is disguised) and restorative (tomato juice, or some vegetable juice blend, coupled with Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and spicy stuff kick-starts the metabolism and replaces depleted nutrients). But with the juice, spices, and salty elements, a “Mary” can get heavy fast, and on hot summer days, the prospect of a murky blend of seasonings can be a turnoff.
T.J. Lynch, co-owner of off-duty bartender hangout Mother’s Ruin in New York’s SoHo, came up with a clever workaround for some of the harder-to-stomach aspects of the traditional Mary, crafting a frozen vodka drink made with yellow tomatoes instead of red. Yellow tomatoes are lower in acid than reds, allowing all the sweetness and garden-freshness to come through unhindered. To maintain at least some of the eye-opening spicy kick, Lynch adds lemon juice and a touch of horseradish juice to a mix of vodka and ice, and then pulverizes it with a giant Frosty Factory machine. Lastly, he serves it in a highball glass with salt on the rim, celery stalk, and a floating lemon wheel bathed in a generous dash of hot sauce.
Below, Lynch’s recipe is adapted for those who don’t have a Frosty Factory in their kitchen arsenal, since all you need is a decent blender that’s powerful enough to crush ice. (The gold standard of pro-sumer blenders is the $649 VitaMix Professional Series 500.)
• 5 medium ripe yellow tomatoes
• 1 celery stalk, chopped
• 1 cup diced cucumber
• 2 oz fresh lemon juice
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh horseradish
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 6–7 oz of vodka (Lynch uses Tito’s Handmade Vodka)
• Hot sauce of choice to taste
Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, add 3–4 cups of ice and blend again until it reaches the desired consistency.
Pour into a highball glass, adding the hot-sauce-covered lemon slice. “A celery salt/chili rim would be a good call,” says Lynch.