What happens when an amateur mixologist and a (future) BBQ Pitmaster get together to create a cocktail? You get a Smoked Bloody Mary with Smoked Bacon Garnish.
Well that’s what happened this past weekend anyway, when two of my dearest friends came to visit us from California. Lynn, the amateur mixologist, just started a brand new blog about her cocktail creations, so naturally we got to talking all things cocktails. It doesn’t taking long for hubby to find an excuse to turn on the smoker, so when I had a craving for a good bloody Mary, we decided to smoke it. Why not?
Now, our first idea was to just use smoked ice cubes to shake the drink with. But then we thought, why not smoke the tomatoes? Our good friends, and fellow Traeger owners, Katy & Gary, recently introduced us to smoked bacon, so that had to go into the cocktail too (duh!). And if that wasn’t enough smoked goodness, we added smoked salt to the rim of the glass for that moment when your lips touch the glass and you take your first sip. Oh. My. Smoked. Goodness.
I must warn you, this can be a long process, but well worth it. So go ahead and plan your entire morning around this event. Because that’s what it is — an event.
You start by smoking your tomatoes and bacon. You can put them on the smoker at the same time.
Once they’re good and smoked (about 1 hour), put the bacon aside, then puree your tomatoes.
You can easily prepare this step in advance. Just smoke your tomatoes the day before, puree them, and then refrigerate them until it’s cocktail time.
Bacon, on the other hand, is best (and most crispy) when freshly cooked. I encourage you to make the bacon pretty crispy so it holds its shape in the drink and remains crispy until the very last sip.
Then let the mixologist do her work…
And don’t forget the smoked ice. Yes, smoked ice.
We do not own normal ice cube trays (yet), so we had to get creative and use the cute heart shaped ice cube trays (as seen in the picture) I use to make frozen treats for my boys. Whatever works!
Make sure to garnish up your Smoked Bloody Mary, then add a few twists of freshly grated pepper on top.
- 5-6 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 3 cups tomato juice
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
- 5 teaspoons hot sauce (we used a combination of Frank’s Red Hot and Valentina)
- The juice of 1 whole lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Vodka (1-2 oz per cocktail)
- Smoked Ice (recipe below)*
- Smoked bacon (recipe below)*
- Pickled asparagus
- Lemon wedges
- Cut tomatoes in quarters and remove stems. Place a drying rack on a baking sheet and put the tomatoes on the drying rack. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite vegetable spice (think Old Bay Seasoning). Smoke the tomatoes at 275 degrees, with the lid closed. At the same time, layout slices of cured (but not smoked) bacon in the smoker for one hour to get crisp. (Use as much bacon as needed for cocktails). You want the bacon to be pretty crispy so they stand up and remain crispy when used as a garnish in the cocktail.
- After approximately one hour, remove bacon and tomatoes. Remove skin from tomatoes and then let cool.
- Transfer tomatoes to food processor and pulse until pureed and juiced.
- Add tomato juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, hot sauce, lemon juice, and additional seasonings. Stir or pulse again to combine. Adjust ingredients to your taste and preferences, and add any more ingredients as desired.
- Rim a pint sized glass with lemon juice, then dip it upside down in the seasoning mixture. (For an extra flare consider mixing smoked salt with seasoning for the glass rim. We get excellent smoked salt from The Meadow in Portland.)
- Add a combination of the smoked ice and regular ice cubes, then vodka, and top with the Bloody Mary mixture. Stir gently. Add garnishes. Instagram your creation. Tell all your friends how ridiculously delicious this cocktail is.
Preheat smoker to 250 degrees. Take ice cubes and place into a glass bowl (I typically use several cups of water or up to three trays of ice cubes). When smoker is at temperature add the glass bowl of ice cubes in the smoker. Let the ice melt (about 30 minutes). When ice is melted, remove from smoker and let cool.
Add water back into the ice trays and refreeze for later use. The water should have a slight orange or yellow color.