Happy New Year! Whether you’re up bright and early to host a brunch gathering or you slept in after a late night on the town ringing in the new year, this drink will fit the bill. If you’re in a hurry, you can serve this with a skewer of olives in place of the pickled vegetables. Or, replace the horseradish with wasabi, drop in a Kumamoto oyster and garnish with pickled ginger for a bracing oyster shooter.
A1 Bloody Mary
For the pickled vegetables:
1/4 lb. (125 g) each French breakfast radishes, baby carrots, haricots verts, wax beans and okra
4 celery stalks
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) white wine vinegar
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 star anise pod, broken into pieces
1 lemon, halved
4 cups (1 quart/1 l) tomato juice
2 tsp. freshly grated horseradish
2 tsp. A1 steak sauce or Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. celery salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) vodka
Ice for serving
To make the pickled vegetables, trim the radishes, carrots, haricots verts, wax beans and okra. Cut the celery into 4-inch (10-cm) lengths and cut the radishes in half. Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, star anise and peppercorns in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Place the celery, radishes, carrots, haricots verts, wax beans and okra in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the hot vinegar mixture into the bowl, making sure all the vegetables are submerged. Let cool, tossing the vegetables frequently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 to 4 hours before serving.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves into a large pitcher. Add the tomato juice, horseradish, A1 sauce, celery salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika, and stir until thoroughly combined.
Add the vodka and stir to combine. Pour into old-fashioned glasses or tumblers filled with ice. Garnish with the pickled vegetables and serve immediately. Serve any remaining pickled vegetables alongside. Serves 6.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends: Fresh Ways to Entertain with Style, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm