This is a wake-you-up, kick-your-butt-into-gear Bloody Mary. If you would rather wake up a bit slower, scale back on the hot sauce and pickled jalapeño. The dried chipotle chile contributes flavorful smokiness, but if you have trouble finding some, it’s OK to omit it- the mix will still be tasty. So good to share with friends over brunch.
- 1 dried chipotle chile, stem removed and seeded
- 1 dried New Mexico chile, stem removed and seeded
- 4 cups low-sodium tomato juice
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
- 1 jarred pickled jalapeños, with 2 tablespoons of the brine
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of Tapatio hot sauce or other hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cups high-quality vodka
- Ice cubes
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish*
- 4 to 6 pieces celery stalks, for garnish*
Heat a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Lay the chiles in the pan and toast them for about 3 minutes per side, or until they are beginning to blacken in spots. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover with warm water and soak the chiles for about 20 minutes, or until they soften.
Remove the chiles from the soaking liquid, draining them well, and transfer them to a blender. Add the tomato juice, lemon juice, jalapeño and brine, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and celery seeds, and blend until completely smooth. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher. Stir in the vodka to taste.
Fill tall glasses with ice. Divide the Bloody Mary mixture among the glasses, garnish with the lemon slice and celery, and serve.
MAKE-AHEAD: The Bloody Mary mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.
*Crunchy celery stalks and tart lemon slices are my favorite classic garnishes for this bold cocktail but the options are nearly limitless. Try garnishing with small poached shrimp, green olives, pickled onions or even pickled green beans or asparagus.