Turn on the TV during football season and you hear a lot of talk about the Red Zone. For the non-fans, it refers to a portion of the football field between the end zone and the 20 yard line. Announcers like to talk about this zone a lot. Somehow its become a measuring stick on how efficient a team is when then can score from that particular area. But that's not the Red Zone I want to talk about.
The Zone I'd like to give a little coaching on is red due to the tomato juice in the glass. Yes, I"m talking about a drink, an alcoholic beverage, the famous Bloody Mary. The origin of the name is disputed. Some say it was named after Queen Mary of England, others claim it was Mary Pickford, the actress. Doesn't matter. The important part is the recipe of which there are many. This is where the coaching come in.
Okay, listen up. Forget those spicy concoctions you buy at the stores, they'll eat a hold in your gut. Way too harsh. We're in this for the long haul. Start with a simple, healthy blend found on the shelves of any grocery. It's called Spicy Hot V8 made by the folks at Campbell's. It's 100% vegetable juice people! How can this not be good for you? Ingredients include, among others, tomatoes, carrots, celery, beets, and even a little spinach just like Popeye eats. There's enough vitamin C here to keep you healthy for a week.
Next choice, and this is important too, is the vodka. I strongly recommend a quality brand vodka such as Absolut. You'll not regret it. Buy the cheap stuff to sneak into the punch. And yes Virginia, there is a difference. Maybe not so much in the taste but the after effects. We're talking hangover and headaches here. I'm told it's all in the filtering process but lets not get into that, just take my word for it.
The last critical part of the mix is the Worcestershire sauce. Get a bottle of Lea and Perrin's. Don't even consider anything else. "What about celery?" some are saying. Go ahead if you feel you must. Why don't you just get a little umbrella for it too? Hmmm?
Putting it all together: Half a glass of ice, one oz. of vodka (okay 1 and 1/2), add the Spicy V8, and then the Worcestershire sauce. Hold it! Did I say sprinkle it in? No, I did not. Two or three drops. That's it! Not one drop, not four or five or six. Two or three. Now is when you sprinkle, but with salt and pepper. Yes, you can use celery salt, sea salt, low salt, or no salt but you can't skip the pepper. Let me take you back to step three for a moment, the addition of the V8. If you're opening a new bottle, you MUST stir it while still in the bottle. No, shaking it will not work. There simply is not enough room in a full bottle to get a good shake. Use an ice tea spoon. Get down there as far as it will go and stir the crap out of it. Failure to follow advice at this juncture will ruin the drink and you'll have to start over.
Go ahead, take a sip. Huh? Huh? What'd I tell you? Oh, you nearly drained that baby didn't you? Let me freshen that for you. Note that I threw out all that old used ice in the glass. Never, never mix a Bloody Mary with used ice. There you go. Now, what say you and I take our drinks and step out on the back deck and watch the cats chase the birds for awhile? I knew you'd like that idea.
(I'll talk to the rest of you folks later.)