A bloody good mix - Bloody Mary, that isThe average Bloody Mary is bad ... No, the average Bloody Mary is terrible. The reason is right there on the bottle, in the ingredients that often list high-fructose corn syrup right after tomatoes.
By: Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune, INFORUM
The average Bloody Mary is bad.
The average Bloody Mary is terrible.
The reason is right there on the bottle, in the ingredients that often list high fructose corn syrup right after tomatoes. Worse, the major brands also commonly dilute their mixes before restoring body with wheat thickener. What we’re left with is only a vague approximation of the tomatoes’ lightness, juiciness and mouthwatering zest.
That’s why Longbranch Bloody Mary Zinger, born in the Chicago suburbs, is a revelation.
Longbranch founder and owner Matt Horne, 59, says his Bloody Mary mix is “what you’d get if you were making it for yourself at home,” and in this rare case, such a boast is fair.
The secret isn’t so secret – it’s a list of ingredients that includes tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper sauce, among several spices. High fructose corn syrup and wheat thickener remain on the sidelines (which also makes it one of the few gluten-free Bloody Mary mixes on shelves).
After years of wowing guests with his well-spiced homemade Bloody Mary mix, Horne, an X-ray machine repairman, launched Longbranch from his Wilmette, Ill., home in 1992.
Now manufactured in Union, Ill., Longbranch didn’t finally break even as a business until 2011.
Horne expects 2012 to be his breakout year. He plans to ship three times as many cases of Longbranch as the previous year to an ever-growing number of buyers, including bars, restaurants, liquor stores and country clubs across the nation.
That’s only good news for anyone who values spice, verve and gardenlike freshness from this Sunday morning sipper.
“Done right, Bloody Marys are so good,” Horne said. “And you feel good when you’re done drinking it. It’s not like drinking the same volume of liquor or beer.”
Or high fructose corn syrup.
MATT HORNE’S IDEAL BLOODY MARY
Fill a pint glass (rimmed with celery salt and lime juice) half full of ice. Add 1 ounces of vodka, a quarter of a fresh-squeezed lime and top with Longbranch Bloody Mary mix. Stir.
Add skewer of mozzarella cheese, salami, shrimp and two blue cheese-stuffed olives. (Horne is not opposed to substituting gin or tequila for vodka.)
Longbranch Bloody Mary Zinger is $5 for a 32-ounce bottle. More information and ordering: bloodymarymix.com.