The Independence Day Edition

Before we begin the latest musings, we wanted to share one of our savvy reader’s comments.  This particular San Franciscan responded to the Summer Solstice Edition’s feature post, A Wet Weather Lesson for Seattle Newbies, with the following suggestion that might help remedy the area’s current drought dilemma.
EH asks: “Why can’t someone put a pipeline from the flooding Mississippi, et. al., to the Pacific Northwest and northern California?” Adding, with her characteristic wry humor:  “[People living in] LA can take care of themselves!”
Don’t shoot the messenger…


Raise a glass!
Moving on to less testy regional issues, raise your hand if you’re a Bloody Mary lover!
Thank you for that positive response, people, whether the occasional imbiber type or, like myself, a regular lover of the perennially popular hair-of-the-dog libation.  Drink your vegetables, I say!  (And don’t forget the vodka, although virgins are ok, too…)
“How the Bloody Mary Came to Dominate Brunch” is the title of Whitney Filloon’s June 13  article at:   explaining the subject.  Let it be known that there are other theories out there relating to the drink’s origins which we do not have the space to delve into here.  However, dear reader, feel free to explore the rather the juicy Chicago rendition on the subject…

Summer is high season for brunch, that glorious, lazy weekend meal when throwing back three drinks before 11:00 a.m. is socially acceptable and even encouraged.  Mimosas certainly have their fair share of die-hard fans, but true #teambrunch-ers know that the illustrious bloody mary is the way to go.  But who dreamt up the combination of tomato juice and vodka anyway, and how’d it get to be so darn popular?  Here now, is a brief look at the ever-popular bloody mary:
What is a bloody mary?
A bloody mary is a mixture of tomato juice, vodka, and various spices and seasonings–typically including, but limited to, Worcestershire, celery salt, black pepper, lemon juice, hot sauce, and even beef broth
[known as a bloody bull, for the uninitiated].  The ingredients yield a beverage that is simple-yet complex.  Depending upon proportions, it can be sour, bitter or bold.
When and where did the bloody mary originate?
As is the case with many classic cocktails, the bloody mary’s origins are a bit murky–but it’s generally thought to be Parisian in origin, first concocted by a bartender at Harry’s New York Bar (no relation to Harry’s Bar in Venice, aka, the birthplace of the bellini) who was experimenting with vodka, which had just been introduced to France by Russian immigrants.  It’s inventor, Fernand “Pete Petiot, brought the drink with him across the Atlantic when he moved to Manhattan and took up residence behind the bar at the St. Regis Hotel’s King Cole Bar.  According to a two-part series on bloody mary history by cocktail authority Difford’s Guide, it was temporarily renamed the Red Snapper in the 1930s when the hotel’s new owner decided its original name was too vulgar.
Why is the bloody mary such a popular brunch drink?
The tomato juice base lends the [drink] a hearty nature
that has led many to consider it a “meal in a glass”–and therefore makes it seem like a perfectly acceptable, possibly-even-vaguely-healthy thing to consume at 10:00 a.m.
[We’ll probe it’s close relation in the traditional restorative treatment for hangovers by way of “hair of the dog” therapy in a later Musings edition.  Hey, a person can only absorb so much information…]
[The fact of the matter is, and this is important, people, so stay with me here!] tomatoes also contain high levels of glutamic acid, the compound that gives foods the rich and savory quality known as umami.  That, in combination with [the drink’s] usual spices and seasonings, gives the bloody mary a rich, mouth-filling taste and texture significantly more satisfying than, say, your garden-variety mimosa.
And this, dear reader, is where WM must wrap-up this ode to all things bloody marys/bloody bulls. In conclusion, allow me to add a few tips on making the “perfect”:  1) Select V-8 juice (low sodium, if you prefer) above all other brands; 2) Always add horseradish to the mix and 3) consider making a “dirty mary” by adding olive juice to your concoction.  Lastly, if you’re going for a bloody bull, add Campbell’s concentrated beef broth–it’s absolutely the best!  As for those on low salt diets, or just plain hate tomato juice, I recommend you go for a mimosa instead…


Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July weekend and be sure to proudly display the stars and stripes!  On a personal note, kindly skip waving the Confederate flag, please.  We’re celebrating the country’s independence from England, not glorifying a divisive national cause that ended in the Union’s favor back in 1865.  Time to get over it and move on, southern brethren…

Not all of us
Can do great
Things.  But
We can do small
Things with great love.

M. Teresa

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