Saffron Bloody Mary
Bacon Rimmed Bloody Mary with Saffron
There are certain things you can almost always count on over 4th of July Weekend. Among them are beautiful but loud fireworks, incredible grilled foods, lots of laughter, and, quite often, a self-induced headache produced by the excess of either heat, alcohol, or both.
The morning cure, for many, is a tangy, salty, spicy, alcoholic beverage—none other than the bloody mary.
Holiday weekends call for a specialty version of the savory cocktail, though, don’t you think? I certainly do, which is why I developed a concoction utilizing one of my favorite ingredients, saffron. Saffron and tomato compliment one another incredibly well, so it seemed like the perfect ingredient to kick the traditional morning cocktail up a notch.
Plan ahead for these drinks. Start soaking the saffron in water for at least 1 hour prior to making them. I like to do it the night before.
Bacon Rimmed Saffron Bloody Mary
Yields 4 cocktails
¼ teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoons water
6 oz bacon
4 cups tomato juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ cup Kalamata olive juice
1 teaspoon horseradish
2 teaspoon garlic paste
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon red hot sauce
1 teaspoon green hot sauce
8 oz Vodka
4 fresh lime wedges
4 fresh lemon wedges
- Slightly crush the saffron with the back of a spoon and soak it in the water for at least 1 hour.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet until it is crispy and set aside to cool.
- Once the bacon has cooled completely, chop it into pieces no bigger than a coarsely ground sea salt. Transfer from the cutting board to a small saucer and set aside.
- Combine the saffron mixture, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, onion powder, cumin, pepper, olive juice, horseradish, garlic paste, lemon juice, red hot sauce, and green hot sauce.
- Slide a slice of lemon around the rim of a glass, turn it over and dip the rim in the bacon. The lemon enables the bacon to stick to the rim. Repeat with the rest of the glasses.
- Using a scoop, fill the glasses with ice, taking care not to knock much of the bacon off the rim.
- Pour 2 oz of vodka in each glass and top with the bloody mary mix.
- Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge and one lime wedge into the glass.
Garnish with a salad bar of pickled and fresh vegetables, salami, olives, feta cheese, or whatever your heart desires. Serve to your guests at any time of the day (but they will especially appreciate them in the morning and into brunch.
Another ingredient that pairs wonderfully with saffron is seafood. If you haven’t tried a Caesar before, there is no better time. Make it a Saffron Caesar by replacing the tomato juice with Clamato (I like to gussy this version up a bit by placing a whole cooked/chilled shrimp on the glass).
For this recipe, I used our all red saffron filaments from Afghanistan. The flavor is sweet and has a touch of warmth to it, making it an exceptional choice for this beverage.