This post was originally published on March 17, 2015.
When you’re making a meal or cocktail in a place other than your hometown or country, it is often fun to incorporate local ingredients into the product– Bloody Marys included. Therefore, when I was in the Cayman Islands, I sought out local, fresh ingredients to include in both my mix and garnish. I went to Foster’s Food Fair on a mission to (hopefully) find some good stuff. I wanted make a savory Bloody to drink oceanside on my 23rd birthday. I went to the produce section first and grabbed some locally-grown hot peppers and culantro. Culantro is, in essence, a stronger version of cilantro found in the Caribbean, South America, and Mexico and is often used as a seasoning in these areas. The plant has long, jagged leaves that remind me of a prickly-edged weed, along with a powerful taste. I was quite happy to try this new herb and hope I can find some in the future to use in various dishes and Bloody Mary mixes. I grabbed some shrimp and some classic items for a garnish and looked around for some unique spices to add. I hit a hard spot when I couldn’t find any local spices throughout the aisles… Then, JACKPOT! I found an entire rack full of locally-made stuff near the front of the store. I grabbed some pepper jelly and Cayman Sea Salt BBQ Rub, a rub which I could honestly eat by itself because of its amazing flavor. I also bought Pickapeppa hot sauce, which is made in Jamaica (close enough, right?). I finished up my trip by grabbing some of the classics used to make a Bloody Mary and I was on my merry way back to the condo.
I let this mix sit for roughly 1 or 2 hours before consumption, but you could also make it instantly if you muddle up the culantro and peppers in the drink. The resulting flavor of the Cayman Birthday Bloody Mary is bold and adventurous. I LOVED the addition of the culantro and the Cayman Sea Salt rimmed on the glass added delicious flavoring to each sip (I also put some in the mix, as well). Usually, when I write these posts, I detail the amounts of ingredients to use in the recipe portion. For the Cayman Birthday Bloody Mary, I’m going to use more generality because I honestly a.) don’t remember the exact amounts of ingredients I used when I made this cocktail and b.) I think the creator should use ingredients local to the area they are currently in, so there’s no rigid lines of what ingredients you need to use or how much you should use. As a side note, I always encourage readers to create cocktails at their own discretion, either switching out ingredients I use with others, changing up the amounts, or just making your own damn Bloody Mary and sharing the recipe with me
- 32 oz. tomato juice
- dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lemon squeezed
- dashes of pickle juice
- dashes of Pickapeppa hot sauce
- spoonful of pepper jelly
- dashes of Cayman Sea Salt BBQ Rub
- dashes of ground black pepper
- some culantro leaves
- slices of hot peppers
- culantro leaf
- Cayman Sea Salt BBQ Rub to rim glass
Preparing the Mix
- Pour the tomato juice into a pitcher or sealable container.
- Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pickle juice, Pickapeppa, and pepper jelly.
- Toss in some Cayman Sea Salt BBQ Rub and black pepper.
- Rip up some culantro leaves and toss those in, along with the slices of hot peppers.
- Let sit for an hour or two in the refrigerator.
Constructing the Cayman Birthday Bloody Mary
- Saute the shrimp. I sauteed mine with lime juice, olive oil, chopped culantro, and Cayman Sea Salt BBQ Rub.
- Place the olives, pickle, and culantro leaf on a cocktail pick.
- Move a lemon wedge around the rim of the glass.
- Rim the glass with Cayman Sea Salt BBQ Rub.
- Fill the glass half full with ice.
- Pour 1.5-2 oz. of vodka in the glass.
- Place a strainer over the glass and pour the mix from the pitcher through the strainer and into the glass. This will ensure the culantro leaves and peppers are not poured into the actual Bloody Mary.*
- Place the cocktail pick with the garnish ingredients on top of the glass.
- Place the shrimp on the rim of the glass.
- Enjoy the Cayman Birthday Bloody Mary~ whether your beachside, on the slopes, or simply relaxing on a Sunday morning at home!
*You can skip this step if you want the culantro leaves and hot peppers in the actual Bloody Mary. You can muddle them further in your glass to release even stronger flavors.