We see Kitchen Kind as a bit of a love letter to food and drink. Emely Donegan, co-owner of Scrub Hill in Newlyn with her partner, Jente van Beek, took it next-level as she writes to the drink she loves best and shares her memories of comfort and fun with this spicy mix.
Dear Maria , I Bloody Love You.
When asked to conjure a flavour you associate with love, it is understandable you may not easily arrive at the Bloody Maria, though it is very hard for me to find a recipe closer to my heart than this one.
Rarely will I drink a Bloody Maria laced with booze, but if I do the combination of Amontillado and tequila is the only way I’ll take it. My affection for this combination of rich, salty, umami and spice are sizable. But this recipe does more than satisfy my palate, it has now been consumed so many times and in so many different contexts, a sip stirs all kinds of memories.
Many of these memories are contained in work, that is, the many years of long shifts, lunch breaks, quiet shifts, hungover shifts, this ship is going down-shifts, and, most notably, friendships.
I had my first Bloody Maria in 2015 whilst cooking in Oregon, at Naomi Pomeroy’s ‘Beast’ where I met a life-long friend in Karli Espinoza. Besides welcoming me warmly into the fold and chaperoning me to the Oregon’s best wine bars, restaurants, and pop ups, it also became our habit to visit the many brunch haunts to sample their variation of the beloved brunch beverage.
The greatest point of interest to us was what each venue did with their base tomato juice mix to make the beverage their own. In 2016, Karli flew over to help me with the set-up of Big Dog’s Deli and with her brought me her very own Bloody Maria recipe, which was steadfast on our menu until we closed in 2022. The drink was approached with equal parts pride and respect; it was a consensus among our small team of staff that no matter busy we were, the time will always be taken to garnish the Maria elaborately with an assortment or house made pickles, a spicy-salty rim and, upon request, thin slices of freshly shaved charcuterie.
Throughout the Big Dog’s years, myself, Karli, my sister, and my colleagues would make these for one another as a pick me up, as a mid- service meal, a knock off, an apology. A drink to warm the soul. I will never have a Virgin Mary, a Bloody Mary or a Bloody Maria and not think about Portland or Big Dog’s Deli and all the people who I’d like to be sharing it with.
Find the full Bloody Maria Cocktail recipe here.
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