This post was originally published on January 30, 2015.
Cajun cuisine sprouted from the forced movement of the Acadian French from Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana. Not only did the Acadians lose their home when the British forced them out, but the Acadians also lost many traditional ingredients of their cuisine due to the extreme change in climate between Canada and Louisiana. So they created a new cuisine from scratch, using ingredients from both the land and sea. The Acadians had (and still have) access to many different land types- ranging from marshes and swamps to prairies and rolling hills, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and a multitude of rivers.
As I was reading a bit about Cajun cooking earlier, it seems most popular sources (restaurants, recipes, etc.) call for a lot of spicy heat when cooking Cajun-style. When I was growing up, my mother and father would cook gumbo and jambalaya that were not “spicy” persay, but were spiced well.Those articles agreed with what my parents were doing– and exhibited that Cajun cooking is a diverse mixture of spices and flavors that delves into complexity, not the simple hot and spicy many people like to think of. The Holy Trinity deemed “God” in Cajun chefs’ minds consists of onion, celery, and bell peppers. Originating from the French mirepoux (which calls for carrots instead of bell peppers), the Cajun Holy Trinity could be regarded as a flavor base for many Cajun dishes, thus called “aromatics.”
So….. What does this all mean? This freakin’ means the Cajun Elation Bloody Mary is for damn sure going to be based on the Holy Trinity! And traditional Cajun spices! And it will be garnished with things Acadian people would eat regularly! Like shrimp…. Andouille sausage… You can taste it now, can’t you?
On a side note, there are times when you may feel that drunk bartenders are the best bartenders and, even though I didn’t want to mention this because I thought it may discredit me slightly, I was drunk when I crafted the Cajun Elation Bloody mix. When I tossed sugar in the mix Tuesday night, I woke up the next morning hoping I didn’t mess up the whole damn thing. Even though Cajun chefs use sugar in various dishes, I was nervous about sugar being in a savory cocktail. I was completely wrong. To date, this is my favorite Bloody Mary I have made yet! I am quite proud of the flavors I have been able to create recently and the Cajun Elation Bloody Mary could be considered a cumulative representation of “what I have learned” thus far.
Try it out for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. It is worth noting that I let this mix sit for about 48 hours before constructing the actual drink. I would imagine 24 hours would be long enough to let the flavors fuse together though.
Ingredients (Makes 2 Bloody Marys in Pint Glasses)
- 3 cups (24 oz) tomato juice*
- ½ lemon squeezed
- ½ lime squeezed
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped white onion
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 5-6 bay leaves
- generous pinch of white or brown sugar
*In previous recipes, I have used the same amount of juice for more Bloody Marys. The Cajun Elation mix detailed here makes 2 large Bloody Marys (in pint glasses), but you can use smaller glasses if you would like more servings.
- 1 chunk of panfried Andouille sausage
- 1 seasoned & sauteed shrimp (I used lemon, garlic, butter, and some spices)
- 1 chunk of jalapeno jack cheese (or whatever type of cheese you prefer)
- 1 red bell pepper slice
- 1 pepperoncini
- 1 manzanilla olive
- 1 celery stalk
Preparing the Mix
- Pour the tomato juice into a sealable container. Bormioli Rocco makes this awesome 33 3/4 oz. decanter if you are looking for a multi use container.
- Add the lemon and lime juices, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, black pepper, Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning, and bay leaves. Mix all together.
- Toss in all parts of the Cajun Holy Trinity- the chopped onion, celery, and bell peppers. Mix all together.
- Add a generous pinch of sugar to the mix and mix well.
- Seal the decanter and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Day Two (or Three, in my case)
Constructing the Cajun Elation Bloody Mary
- Saute the shrimp and Andouille sausage.
- Place the Andouille sausage, shrimp, jalapeno jack cheese, red bell pepper slice, pepperoncini, and olive on a cocktail pick.
- Move a lime or lemon wedge around the rim of the glass (just getting a little juice on the rim).
- Rim the glass with Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning.
- Fill a pint glass half full with ice.
- Pour 1.5-2 oz vodka in the glass.
- Place a strainer over the glass and pour the mix from the decanter through the strainer and into the glass. This will ensure that the Holy Trinity is not poured into the actual Bloody Mary.
- Place the cocktail pick with all of the garnishes horizontally on top of the glass.
- Place the celery stalk into the glass to be used as a stirrer.
- Pretend you are hanging on the Gulf shore or in New Orleans while you drink your Cajun Elation Bloody Mary. Or don’t pretend if you are already there.