The Red Snapper, first served in America at the St. Regis Hotel in New York in the 1930s, was the original bloody mary. With equal parts vodka and tomato juice, the Red Snapper is the superior expression of the cocktail.
The "veggie" rendition here calls for a cucumber-flavored vodka. There are several on the market, but Square One is the best; it is available at Central Liquors in Washington. If you can't find a cucumber vodka, an herb vodka such as Herb's dill- or cilantro-flavored will do the trick, too.
Celery bitters work much better than celery salt but can be hard to find. Check with your local liquor store about ordering them. Or cozy up to your neighborhood bartender and ask to borrow some.
Two more thoughts: Forget the celery stalk. Do not forget the lemon juice.
- 2 ounces cucumber-flavored vodka, preferably Square One brand
- 2 ounces tomato juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 dashes celery bitters, such as the Bitter Truth brand (may substitute a pinch of celery salt)
- Pinch fine sea salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Twist of lemon peel, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, celery bitters, salt, black and cayenne peppers. Shake well for at least 15 seconds, then strain into an ice-filled highball glass.
Garnish with the twist of lemon peel.
From Spirits columnist Jason Wilson.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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