This has been the weirdest year for our tomatoes. Early in the season it was so cool and rainy, which meant that our tomatoes would keep producing new growth but no ripe tomatoes. Once the summer got its act together and shot up to 90 degrees, we got an overflow of ripe tomatoes. Thank you jeebus! On the weekends I’ve been canning my brains out. I’ve done tomato jam, tomato puree, tomato sauce, but I wanted to do something different this year. Because I don’t really want to live off of lasagna this winter. I’m not Garfield. I thought about canning something outside the box… or.. jar. Something that would incorporate a lot of our garden’s bounty and also be very useful. So obviously, I made bloody mary mix. Here’s a big shocker: we have a lot of friends that come over to visit, camp, help out on the farm, visit the animals and surprise, surprise… drink. And drink a lot. In the morning, they’re often searching for a delicious hair of the dog antidote. Who doesn’t love a good bloody mary? And what’s better than a bloody mary than a healthy homemade bloody mary mix! You’re welcome, friends.
This homemade bloody mary mix will incorporate all of those delicious tomatoes, peppers and carrots that we have in our garden right now. The rest of the mix that we had to purchase only cost us $4 and we ended up with over a gallon of mix. We canned a lot in pint and quart jars and also some in half pint jars to give away as holiday gifts later this year. Think about it, a little bit of homemade bloody mary with some cute baby vodka bottles and maybe some pickled green beans? Instant brownie points from friends and family. If you’re not into bloody mary’s, you can forgo the vodka and extra ingredients and you basically have V8 juice. But bloody mary’s are a lot more fun.
Here’s What You Need:
- 10 pounds roma tomatoes, quartered (skin on is ok)
- 3 green peppers, seeds removed and chopped. We used our Marconi peppers
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch parsley, torn
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1-2 hot peppers (banana peppers, jalapeno, etc) seeds removed and chopped. This depends on how spicy you want your mix. You can leave this out if you don’t like spicy mix.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 T. salt
- Generous amount of black pepper
- 1/2 T. hot sauce
- 1 T. worcestershire sauce
Get all of the chopped ingredients (tomatoes, peppers, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, ginger) in a large pot. Place over medium heat and cook until all the ingredients cook down and get soft. About an hour or so. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot. When it’s all cooked down and reduced, take it off the heat to cool slightly.
For this next part you can either use a standing blender or an immersion stick blender. Puree the vegetables using either method. Then, run the mixture through a fine strainer of some sort. I used our chinaman’s hat, which worked out really great. The goal here is to separate the liquid from the pulp. Throw out the pulp or feed it to your piggies. Gert Gert really loved her special treat! What you have left is basically V8 juice. You can leave it as is for your health nut aunt of yours or you can keep going.
Now, you’ll put the liquid back on the stove and add the sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, hot sauce and worchestershire sauce. Bring this to a boil for a few minutes and add more hot sauce, pepper, etc to taste.
At this point, you’re good to go! Cool it and drink immediately, freeze it for later use or can it. If you’re going to can it, a pressure canner is recommended, but you can also use a water bath canner and process the pint jars for 40 minutes.
To make the perfect bloody mary, pour yourself two ounces of vodka over ice, then fill the glass with your own homemade bloody mary mix. Add in some hot sauce to make it spicier if you’d like. Garnish with some of your own homemade pickles or dilly beans or bacon! The garnishes are key. And before you know it, you have your own homemade bloody mary bar for a hangover brunch!