choose your own adventure bloody marys

throughout my year of making molly on the range, i had a lot of shoot days where my primary task was taking a few options for beauty shots of the five or six dishes that were on the schedule for that day. most of the shoot days fell in the winter, when the days are extra short around here, so that was silly and took a lot of advanced planning, but in general it wasn't too unlike photographing a blog post. there was more pressure knowing that the photos would get put on paper, however at times it was actually physically easier than shooting a blog post since i knew there wouldn't be much room in the book for many more angles and process shots, beyond one final beauty of the finished dish. 

but! there were also a few different kinds of shoot days that involved people (!) and festive wardrobes (!) and entire party setups, captured by chantell! we had a bonfire, a harvest party, a dumpling party, a brunch party... they were much bigger productions than blog posts and there were a lot of moving parts to coordinate, like humans and props and making sure all of the humans showed up in seasonally appropriate attire (which didn't necessarily reflect which season it actually was. for example, don't ask when we shot the holiday party... the answer is not "around the holidays.") it was a lot like planning a real party! so fun. a little more stressful because if something went wrong i couldn't just spill the punch bowl, call the cops, blame it on the neighbors, and get it out of my life. these were parties that'd live on in physical form. 

one of my favorite parties was our brunch party, modeled on our town brunch club. brunch club member emeritus kristin came up all the way from minneapolis, eggsister came from fargo, farmhouse pottery sent such gorgeous props, and we ate so many of my favorite recipes from the book. (i've strategically included a few preview shots of these up above but the little labels depicting what they are are hidden because those are secrets until the book comes out! #october4 #pleasepreorder) bloody marys were obviously involved but sadly the recipe didn't make the book. 

so here they are now, in honor of sherrie's end of summer #drinkthesummer party, which you all need to check out because i am thirsty and needing to pee just looking at these titles: salty melon slush, garden tonic punch, and jalapeno watermelon cooler to name a few!

i think i make a good bloody mary because savory drinks excite me sooo much. it's like cold boozy soup and--bonus!--you get a serving of vegetables. this recipe is fun because it gives you a good base recipe which you can spice up based on whichever fancy hot sauce you have hiding your fridge. and then depending on what hot sauce that is, that's what you call it. harissa bloody mary, zhoug bloody mary, sambal oelek bloody mary, sriracha chipotle obscure-hot-sauce-in-an-unmarked-bottle-that-you-found-in-your-bag-after-a-long-night-of-tequila-in-tijuana* bloody mary... the world is your hot sauce oyster and impressing your brunch guests is just a few shakes away! 

(*this is fictional, it never happened, stop worrying, mum)

choose your own adventure bloody marys

makes about 6 servings


4 c tomato juice

1 c vodka

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 1/2 tsp celery salt, plus more for garnish

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp ground caraway seeds

1 tsp ground horseradish

1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 tb lime juice

black pepper 

hot stuff ***


celery stalks

lime wedges



***This is the essence of this recipe, what makes it. Open up your refrigerator, find the fanciest spicy situation that you have, and then add it to taste. This will be the title of your Bloody Mary. Harissa Bloody Mary. Sriracha Bloody Mary. Zhoug Bloody Mary. Sambal Oelek Bloody Mary. Or a combination.


In a pitcher, mix together the tomato juice, vodka, garlic, salt, sugar, caraway seeds, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, a few turns of black pepper, and hot stuff. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. To serve, give 6 glasses a celery salt rim job and distribute the mixture evenly. Garnish as desired with celery stalks, lime wedges, pickles, and bacon. 


molly on the range is out october 4 and you can pre-order it now!