Not Just Horsing Around
the zesty kick of horseradish may be just what your Bloody Mary needs
Spicy, savory, salty, tomato-y, boozy — a Bloody Mary is all this and more. A standard Bloody Mary gets that spice from hot pepper sauce (often Tabasco). But even more than many other cocktails, the Bloody Mary is an infinitely variable drink, with almost as many recipes as there are bartenders slinging Bloodys at eager brunchers. This means that – especially here in Eau Claire, Horseradish Capital of the World – the heat in your favorite Bloody may just be coming from horseradish.
Eau Claire-based Silver Spring Foods, the largest grower and processor of horseradish on Earth, proclaims right on the bottle that it can give a kick to your roast beef, mashed potatoes, and Bloody Marys.
“It provides a different kind of heat than peppers,” explains Judy Christensen, a food scientist at Silver Spring. “It hits you fast and goes away fast. A capsaicin heat from peppers will build and build. … It’s easier to continuing eating (horseradish), even the really hot stuff.”
“It provides a different kind of heat than peppers. It hits you fast and goes away fast. A capsaicin heat from peppers will build and build. … It’s easier to continuing eating (horseradish), even the really hot stuff.” – Judy Christensen, a food scientist at Silver Spring, on horseradish’s heat
Horseradish is root vegetable with a built-in self-defense mechanism: It produces a pungent compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which can both combat plant pathogens and light up your tastebuds. “That’s what punches you in the nose,” says Christensen, Silver Spring’s R&D and technical services manager.
Horseradish works well in a Bloody Mary in part because of the drink’s flexibility, Christensen says. The beverage already is loaded with multiple flavors, so adding horseradish just increases the complexity.
“You can have pepper heat and horseradish heat in a good Bloody Mary,” she says.
Silver Spring recommends using a prepared horseradish to add flavor to a Bloody Mary. Finely ground, the horseradish gets suspended in the liquid like a spice and spreads evenly. And, if you want an even bolder flavor, use a spoonful of its extra hot horseradish.
While pepper sauce has been the most common kind of heat in a Bloody Mary, horseradish is gaining popularity both in bartenders’ recipes and in prepared mixes. Even if you have a tried-and-true Bloody Mary recipe, a bit or horseradish could be a welcome addition.
“It’s a great addition to round out those flavors or for something new if you haven’t tried it,” Christensen says.
Here are some Bloody Mary recipes from Silver Spring’s kitchen:
THE LEGENDARY SILVER SPRING BLOODY MARY
6 shots vodka
6 Tsp Silver Spring Prepared Horseradish (or more to taste)
6 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
6 Tbsp pickle juice
Celery salt to taste
30-36 oz tomato juice
In a pitcher, combine ice, vodka, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, pickle juice, celery salt, and tomato juice. Stir and pour into your glass. Garnish with our suggestions or whatever you desire. Enjoy! (Makes 6 servings and can be scaled up or down.)
ZING MASTERS BLOODY MARY
Bloody Mary Ingredients
1 large pinch of your favorite dry
Bloody Mary seasoning mix
1 teaspoon Silver Spring Prepared Horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ to 2 oz vodka
1 ½ to 2 oz pickle brine
A few dashes tabasco pepper sauce (optional)
4 to 6 ounces tomato juice
Dry Seasoning Mix
4 parts celery salt
2 parts black pepper
1 part garlic powder
1 part dill weed
Fill a pint glass to the rim with ice and add dry seasoning, horseradish, Worcestershire, vodka, pickle brine, and hot sauce. Top with tomato juice and roll the cocktail between the pint and shaker or stir with a bar spoon. Rim a second glass with dry Bloody Mary seasoning by first rubbing the rim with a wedge of citrus so the seasoning sticks to the rim. Pour cocktail into the rimmed glass. Garnish with pickled vegetables, olives, cheese cubes, cured meat sticks, bacon, or get wild and skewer any food you want to top your delicious Bloody Mary. Serve Wisconsin style with a 4 oz beer chaser. Trading sips between the zesty Bloody Mary and the malty sweetness of the beer induces a unique flavor experience.
TRADITIONAL BLOODY MARY
2 shots vodka
2 teaspoons Silver Spring Prepared Horseradish (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons pickle juice
Add celery salt to taste
10-12 oz tomato juice
Garnish with your favorites such as bacon, green beans, asparagus, salami, pepperoncini, colby jack, beef sticks or jerky, string cheese, dill pickle, or stuffed olives.
In 2 glasses, combine ice, vodka, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, pickle juice, celery salt and tomato juice. Garnish with our suggestions or whatever you desire. Enjoy!
For more Bloody Mary recipes, visit silverspringfoods.com.