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January 1 is National Bloody Mary Day

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Today, January 1, is National Bloody Mary Day. But the Bloody Mary cocktail is one of America's most-popular drinks every day of the year.

Research tells us the Bloody Mary began with a bartender mixing tomato juice with vodka in Harry's New York bar in Paris during the 1920s. Eventually the same bartender added other flavors - a couple squeezes of lemon and a splash (or two) of hot sauce. And the Bloody Mary was on its way to being a popular drink with many variations.

While Bloody Marys are a staple here in Cleveland at our local brunches, they are also known as a happy-hour favorite. Some places to check out some of Cleveland's best Bloodys include Market (Rocky River), Nighttown (Cleveland), and Burgers-n-Beer (Willoughby).

While there are several good Bloody Mary mixes available, sometimes the best is the one created to match your idea of how it should taste. Here is a basic recipe for a Bloody Mary mix to get you started - but be sure to check out the variations below* to make the Bloody Marys you make your signature drink. And using a high-quality, flavorful tomato juice is every-bit as important (maybe more so) as the vodka choice.

3 cups high-quality tomato juice

the juice of one lemon

the juice of two limes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon red Tabasco Sauce

1 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a glass 1 quart pitcher mix all the ingredients together and stir until combined, Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. This mix will keep for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

To use mix: Fill a tall glass half-full with ice. Add 2 ounces vodka and 1/2 cup of mix. Stir. Add more mix if needed. Garnish with celery stalk and lemon wedge. Add straw and serve.

*If a more salty taste is desired, before making the drink rim the glass with kosher salt.

Garnishes can include olives, pepperoni, shrimp, goldfish crackers, onion rings, bacon, dill pickles.

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