Be the master of your brunch drink destiny
What makes up the base of a bloody mary or a michelada? It’s not a trick question, go ahead and say what you’re thinking. Tomato juice, right? Technically, yes. But I’m here to make a bold statement, one that will potentially astonish day drinkers and brunch purists alike. When it comes to cocktails, I say vegetable juice is better than tomato juice. Hear me out.
Vegetable juice makes a better brunch cocktail than tomato juice for myriad reasons. Where tomato juice can be acidic and watery, vegetable juice is smooth and robust in flavor. Plain tomato juice is typically just concentrated tomatoes and water, maybe some salt. It is a thin line to vegetable juice’s marker-thick squiggle. Clamato gets the briny thing down, thanks to clam broth, but it still lacks the complexity of a multi-vegetal drink. And don’t even get me started on bottled bloody mary mix. It’s obviously the easiest option when you’re making large-format cocktails, but when the mixer is already packing ingredients like onion extract, molasses, and concentrated lemon juice, there’s little room for creativity. You’ve got to go vegetable juice.
My personal pick for vegetable juice is V8 Low Sodium Original Vegetable Juice. Spicy vegetable juice is great, and so is the classic, fully-salted version, but I’m a control freak, and prefer to do my own seasoning when it comes to cocktails. The juice starts with a tomato base, then goes sweet from carrot and beet juice. Parsley, lettuce, and spinach bring bitter notes, while celery and watercress add a slightly peppery undertone. With low-sodium vegetable juice, the cocktail maker is in charge of just how much salt is going on in the drink, and in what form that seasoning will present itself. Be it flaky sea salt, celery salt, hot sauce, or olive brine, vegetable juice allows you to be the master of your drink destiny.