For me, there is nothing better to start a brunch or evening supper on a hot Louisiana summer day than a serious Bloody Mary. And this one is serious. For my money, the most important part of the Bloody Mary (after the vodka) is the garnish. Celery stalks are ubiquitous, but for a something more interesting and delicious try the Pickled Asparagus recipe below. They’re the most delicious stir sticks on earth! 

Yield: 1 cocktail 

2 oz Vodka
6 oz V8 Juice
1 tsp Horseradish, preferably grated fresh
1/2 tsp fresh Lime Juice
4 dashes Tabasco Sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1 pinch Finely Ground Black Pepper
1 pinch Celery Salt 


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes, and shake well. Strain the mixture over the ice cubes in a highball glass. Don’t fill all the way to the top to leave room for garnishes (or what I call “The Salad”). Your salad may include lime wedges, lemon wedges, celery stalks (with the leaves attached, please), olives, onions, cucumber, radishes, and pretty much any other favorite vegetable. Mine always include pickled vegetables, such as the asparagus below. 

Pickled Asparagus 

This recipe also works beautifully for pickled green beans but they have to be cooked longer; just follow this recipe once, then drain the beans and reboil the brine and pour it over them again.