cocktail

Italian Bloody Mary AKA Red Snapper

The ‘Bloody Mary’ is a classic cocktail with a storied past - legend has it that the Bloody Mary was created in the New York style bar “Harry’s” in Paris somewhere around 1920. Americans were flocking to Paris during Prohibition, as were émigrés escaping the Russian Revolution. Americans were requesting the “tomato juice cocktail” (simply tomato juice in prohibition days), while Russians brought along what most considered a tasteless spirit, vodka. 

At the request of his customers, Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot, Harry’s bartender, began experimenting with the two ingredients, and the Bloody Mary was born. It took a few years to catch on, however by 1933 Americans were asking for the “Red Snapper” across New York. The vintage classic became the Bloody Mary many seek to enjoy over a weekend brunch. 

We discovered a favorite version in our own backyard. 

Asheville, North Carolina’s Strada Italiano and Social Lounge, has created their twist on the classic cocktail. 
 

4 Easy Steps to Strada’s Italian Bloody Mary

Muddle 3 fresh basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. 
Pour vodka over ice in a pint glass and add house Bloody Mary mix. 
Dump into shaker with muddled basil, shake,  and transfer back into pint glass. 
Garnish with pancetta wheel, fresh mozzarella, grape tomato and fresh basil leaf. 

Tip: Ask for a piece of bacon to accompany this alluring craft cocktail.
 

The Barn's Wild Lemon Balm-Mint Smash Cocktail

Serves 2 (with extra lemon balm simple syrup)

In a pint glass or cocktail shaker, combine 4 ounces vodka with 2 ounces lemon balm simple syrup.
Add the juice of one lemon and a generous bunch of fresh, wild mint.
Shake or stir vigorously and pour over ice into two glasses.
Garnish with a wedge of lemon and enjoy!


To Make Lemon Balm 
Simple Syrup:

Combine one cup sugar and one cup water in a small heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add a nice big bunch of fresh lemon balm to the pot and stir until its covered. Allow the lemon balm to steep in the warm simple syrup for at least an hour or up to eight hours. Strain syrup thru a mesh sieve, squeezing the lemon balm to extract as much flavor as possible.