This post was originally published on April 17, 2015.
Growing up in northern Illinois, I was blessed to live near the border of an outdoorsman’s haven like Wisconsin. Not only did Wisconsin provide my family and I with many weekend getaways throughout the years– weekends full of swimming in lakes, sleeping under the evergreens, and feeling the sand between my toes on the gorgeous beaches of northern Lake Michigan– but Wisconsin also provided us with some of the greatest culinary delights imaginable. Cheese (curds included), sausage, beer brats, fish, Culver’s, cherries, and BEER, of course! I will never forget the many drives past Mars Cheese Castle on our way up north or samples of delicious homemade sausage in a gas station in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. Sure, there is the notion that Illinoisans and Wisconsinites do not get along, maybe only in part because of the Bears/Packers rivalry, but I found solace in Wisconsin. I sure do miss the midwest at times– I miss my family, my best friends, my childhood home, the lush forests, cold winters spent inside looking at the deep snow outside the windows, ice skating on the lake behind my home, the body rush before a thunderstorm, snowmobiling across the lake, the stickiness of the humid summers, months of autumn leaves, the most delicious and fattening food known to humankind, smoky bonfires with the kids I have known forever, cutting down the family’s Christmas tree in below zero temps, boating down rivers in the sweltering heat, getting lost in corn mazes, cheap 30 racks of Busch Light, and so much more. Therefore, I wanted to create a Bloody Mary that brings me back home also known as the Wisco Bloody Mary.
Based on tried and true Wisconsin culinary traditions, the Wisco Bloody features sauerkraut and stone ground mustard in the actual cocktail (to resemble what you may find on a beer brat!), along with olive brine, as I know some traditional Wisconsin Bloody recipes call for the addition of that salty deliciousness. For the garnish, I drove all the way to Culver’s in Thornton, Colorado to get my hands on my guiltiest pleasure: fried cheese curds. Other ingredients in the garnish include summer sausage, Wisconsin cheddar, maple bacon, a pickle, baby corn, an olive, and celery. I used Bakon Vodka and rimmed the Wisco Bloodys with Demitri’s Bacon RimShot! to give the cocktail a nice, smoky bacon flavor. And you can’t forget a sidecar when doing a Wisco Bloody, as it is Wisconsin tradition! I bought some good ol’ PBR aka Milwaukee’s finest, of course.
Alternatively, I will be doing a Chicago Bloody Mary sometime in the near future (not to piss off you Cheeseheads) to showcase my Midwestern city girl side… Sure, I may be from the suburbs, but I’ve got the city girl of Chicago in me and the woodsy girl of Wisconsin in me too! I guess I’m an eclectic mix of both worlds Anyways, check out the Wisco Bloody Mary recipe below and can I get a “Cheers baby! Midwest til Death!”
- 1.5-2 oz vodka (I used Bakon Vodka!)
- 5 oz. tomato juice (my favorite is R.W. Knudsen’s Organic Tomato Juice)
- 1-1.5 oz olive brine
- ½ lemon squeezed
- dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- dashes of hot sauce
- spoonful of sauerkraut
- spoonful of stone ground mustard
- dashes of pepper
- dashes of celery salt
- Cheese curd (find your nearest Culver’s or fry up a curd yourself!)
- Slice of summer sausage (a brat slice would be a good garnish as well)
- Wisconsin cheddar cube
- Maple bacon (cooked, obviously)
- Pickled baby corn
- some sort of spice to rim the glass
- SIDECAR! of Wisconsin beer or any kind of pilsner
- Fill a glass halfway with ice.
- Pour the vodka into the glass.
- Pour in tomato juice and olive brine.
- Squeeze half of a lemon into the glass.
- Toss in some dashes of Worcestershire and hot sauce.
- Add a spoonful of sauerkraut and stone ground mustard.
- Add celery salt and pepper.
- Grab another pint glass (this is the one your actual cocktail will be in) and rim it with a lemon wedge.
- Rim the same glass with something like Demitri’s Bacon Rimshot!
- Transfer the materials from glass to glass aka “rolling” to mix all of the ingredients together nicely. Your drink should end up in the rimmed glass.
- Place the cheese curd, summer sausage, cheddar, maple bacon, olive, and pickle on a cocktail pick.
- Place the cocktail pick horizontally across the glass.
- Toss the celery and baby corn into the glass.
- Pour some beer in a small sidecar glass.
- Enjoy your Wisco Bloody Mary with a beer brat or some delicious fresh fish from the lake!