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“Only an insane person drinks Bloody Marys after dark. If it gets to be 1:30 p.m. and we haven’t started yet, we know our window is quickly closing.” This is just one of the many statements David and Kim McRae have when it comes to perfecting your Bloody game. As aficionados of all things related to the tomato juice + vodka wonder cocktail, we turned to them to get the low-down on making Bloody Marys at home. A must cocktail for New Year’s Day, this cocktail also says “brunch,” no matter the date on the calendar, unlike any other cocktail in existence.

Followers of David’s Instagram account are entertained most weeks with over-the-top concoctions that he and Kim create, typically on Sundays. From Bloody Marys that represent their love for Alabama or Titans football, to ones that represent a meal-in-a-cocktail, to ones that simply convey “embrace the weekend,” the photos definitely will inspire you to embrace this cocktail that allows you to be creative like none other.

Here’re the Bloodys from New Year’s Day 2020. Tap the arrow; you want to see this video!

 

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A Q&A with David McRae to Perfect Your Bloody Mary Game

Do you make your Bloody Mary mix from scratch or do you have a favorite mix?

We have in the past (several years ago) canned our own tomato juice but soon realized that the real professionals at places like Zing Zang provide a much easier solution. We always add our own ingredients to the mix, particularly celery seed, lots of lemon juice (Kim’s trick and really makes a difference), lime of course, then either Tobasco and/or Crystal hot sauce to taste, and horseradish plus just a couple more things that we won’t share.

What are your tips for utensils needed and go-to accouterments for making an over-the-top Bloody Mary?

It’s funny, we have a lot of people texting pictures of their Bloodys that they made at home and the first thing you look for is celery and bacon. The beauty of it is there are no rules but those are staples along with shrimp, pickled beans, pickled okra, pickles, lime, and salt. We love using local ingredients. Sperry’s Mercantile, here in Nashville, is at least a weekly visit for us and we are big fans of their shrimp cocktail and jalapeno bacon. Professor Bailey’s pimento cheese biscuits have found their way into more than a few Bloodys. You need some good long wooden skewers and salt for rimming the glass is key.

Below, the theme was neck braces in solidarity with their friend (swipe through).

 

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Does vodka choice really matter in a Bloody Mary?

Not really. I hear there is such a thing as a Bloody Mary without Vodka but not sure I get that.

Should Bloody Mary drinking only happen in daylight hours?

Always. Only an insane person drinks Bloody Marys after dark. If it gets to be 1:30 p.m. and we haven’t started yet we know our window is quickly closing.

Which Bloody Mary has been your favorite to come up with?

That is tough. It is akin to cooking a meal and remembering the experience. It has been interesting since we started taking pictures of some of our favorites and posting them because it catalogs all of these great memories whether it be from a game weekend (Titans, Bama, etc) or a shrimp boil or barbeque. If we had to choose then it would be the king crab legs, oysters and shrimp from last year when our son was home for a visit from college. We remember the meal fondly but the Bloody Mary was just part of it.

 

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A close second would be waking up Sunday morning after a long day and Saturday night at The Pilgrimage Festival 2019 and had no Bloody Mary theme planned. A quick trip to Krystal for some burgers and fries and there is your theme. Made Sunday at the festival a possibility.

 

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When vacationing, do you have some favorite spots that you order Bloody Marys?

The great thing about Bloody Marys is that they tell you a lot about the restaurant or hotel or city you are visiting. The St. Regis Hotel is one of our favorites. Each St Regis city features its own spin on a Bloody. Our favorite is the St. Regis Punta Mita which uses tequila, coriander, and avocado.

If you are setting up a Bloody Mary bar, what should you include?

Literally everything. If it is in the fridge, the cupboard, or the freezer it is fair game.

The Bloody below proves that he really means “everything”!

 

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And, you can even add non-edibles to bring your Bloody theme to life. This one, from March 14, pretty much defines 2020.

 

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Lastly, any Bloody Marys that haven’t worked out?

This Bloody Mary thing is a can’t miss. We haven’t sent one back or dumped one out yet. It’s spirits, juice, and bacon … What could go wrong?

Thank you, David and Kim!

*****

SB Note: Lesson learned? If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to embrace life and spread joy. Whether it’s through entertaining your friends with photos of over-the-top Bloody Marys or finding a new hobby, our hope for all is that you continue to find and spread joy in your own unique way. As we head into 2021, cheers to friendship, laughter, hope, and possibilities.

Our favorite? The Krystal Burger Bloody Mary, of course!

Bloody Mary with Krystal Burgers

Here’s our pick for favorite Bloody Mary!

 

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