Bloody Mary Mix

Bloody Mary Mix

Why This Recipe Works: Sunday brunch isn’t complete without Bloody Marys, but all too often store-bought Bloody Mary mix is salty, too thick, and one-dimensional. We set out to develop a recipe using fresh tomatoes and robust flavors, ready to serve. First, we made a simple tomato juice by blending fresh tomatoes and straining the puree. Then, we cooked the juice down to concentrate its flavors. The addition of traditional Bloody Mary ingredients (lemon juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, and hot sauce) finessed our mix into the brunch accompaniment we all loved. Just pop open a jar, add vodka and ice, and garnish.

For safety reasons, it is imperative to use bottled lemon juice, not fresh-squeezed juice, in this recipe. For more information about long-term storage, see Canning Step by Step.

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30-60 minutes
Process: 40-50 minutes
Yield: four 1-pint jars

9 pounds tomatoes, cored, peeled, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup bottled lemon juice, plus extra for seasoning
2 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, plus extra for seasoning
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce

1. Set canning rack in large pot, place four 1-pint jars in rack, and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, then turn off heat and cover to keep hot.

2. Working in batches, process tomatoes in blender until smooth, about 30 seconds; transfer to bowl. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into Dutch oven, pressing firmly on solids with ladle to extract as much juice as possible; discard solids. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often and reducing heat as needed, until juice has thickened and measures slightly more than 2 quarts, 10 to 30 minutes.

3. Stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons pepper, and hot sauce. Season with additional lemon juice, horseradish, salt, and pepper to taste and return to brief boil; remove from heat.

4. Place dish towel flat on counter. Using jar lifter, remove jars from pot, draining water back into pot. Place jars upside down on towel and let dry for 1 minute. Using funnel and ladle, portion hot mix into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Slide wooden skewer along inside of jar to remove air bubbles and add more mix as needed.

5a. For short-term storage: Let jars cool to room temperature, cover, refrigerate, and serve. (Mix can be refrigerated for at least 3 months.)

5b. For long-term storage: While jars are hot, wipe rims clean, add lids, and screw on rings until fingertip-tight; do not overtighten. Return pot of water with canning rack to boil. Lower jars into water, cover, bring water back to boil, then start timer. Cooking time will depend on your altitude: Boil 40 minutes for up to 1,000 feet, 45 minutes for 1,001 to 3,000 feet, 50 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 feet, or 55 minutes for 6,001 to 8,000 feet. Turn off heat and let jars sit in pot for 5 minutes. Remove jars from pot and let cool for 24 hours. Remove rings, check seal, and clean rims. (Sealed jars can be stored for up to 1 year.)