Wine. Food. Reviews. Recipes. Lap it up.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wake Up Crabby Bloody Mary mix

Wake Up Crabby!Good Bloody Marys are one of my favorite cocktails, but they're hard to come by. Mixes are pretty much always watery, insipid and boring, and the sad fact is that bars and restaurants almost always use mixes. I can make a really good Bloody Mary from scratch, but it's a lot of work and requires quite a few ingredients, so that doesn't happen very often.

A few weeks ago a fellow I've known since we were pups in kindergarten came into the wine shop brandishing a bottle of Bloody Mary mix, and going on about how it he had run across it on vacation and liked it so well that he had started a new business so he could become its Indiana distributor. He raved about it a little more, left the bottle, and said to call him if we liked it.

And did we like it? Well, let's just say that launching a new business just to distribute this stuff wasn't an overreaction. I can usually doctor up other mixes to suit my tastes, but this one — called Wake Up Crabby from the Oxford Falls Company in Starkville, Mississippi — doesn't even need a Band-Aid.

It's thick, flavorful and pretty spicy, and it has a little crunch. It actually has bits of shrimp and crab in it, too — it wouldn't take much effort to turn it into a gumbo base. (There's a Wake Up Crabby pasta recipe on their website that looks pretty good.) My friend says it's really good mixed with Absolut Peppar; I'd probably use Bombay Gin (regular, not Sapphire) and give it a shake or two of Tabasco if I were in the mood for more heat. Sans alcohol, it's a delicious upgrade from regular tomato juice.

At between $12 - $15 a quart it's not inexpensive, but considering all the ingredients that go into it, it's a bargain. I'll certainly have some on hand for New Year's Day!
J. Silverheels Gray, 6:42 PM