Switch up brunch with Verde Marias, instead of that same ol’ bloody mary

  • Jul. 5, 2017 4:00 p.m.

The bloody mary game has been played hard for a long time. Drinks topped with cheeseburgers, seafood skewers and Italian hoagies have all made an appearance, and build-your-own bloody mary bars pop up at every brunch in town.

Switch it up with a green bloody mary, the fresh new girl in town, with tomatillos subbing in for the tomato juice, fresh chiles for heat and avocado providing creaminess.

At Chicago’s Publican Anker, it’s called a Verde Maria. Travel in Mexico inspired executive chef Cosmo Goss to create this tangy, spicy drink. “My wife and I go to Baja for vacation, and we are totally obsessed with the aguachile there. They muddle up cucumbers and chiles and serve the juice over shrimp.”

For the Verde Maria, a fresh cucumber juice base seasoned with plenty of fresh lime, umami’d with fish sauce and heated up with serranos is combined with a thick avocado and roasted tomatillo blend and spiced with the traditional bloody favorites: Worcestershire sauce and celery seed. Says Goss, “many bloody mary recipes call for anchovies or beef broth. Here the fish sauce brings the umami.”

At brunch time at the Anker, bartenders mix the base with Lunazul tequila and top with a fresh cucumber slice for a long, tall drink of green.

———

VERDE MARIA

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Makes: 8 to 10 cocktails

This recipe from Publican Anker mixes a cucumber juice base with an avocado-tomatillo blend; you can make both ahead then combine, adding tequila, to finish the drink.

Base:

5 green onions, roughly chopped

3 cucumbers, roughly chopped

5 serrano chiles, roughly chopped

5 { tablespoons sugar

} cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

5 tablespoons fish sauce

Mix:

16 tomatillos

{ cup fresh lime juice (3 to 4 limes)

1 ripe avocado

{ teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 { tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Base: In a blender, puree the green onions, cucumbers, serrano chiles, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce until smooth. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer to remove any chunks. (Don’t press too hard or you will get chunks.)

Mix: Heat oven to 500 degrees; roast tomatillos on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet until charred and soft, 15 minutes. Allow tomatillos to cool. Combine in a blender, the roasted tomatillos, lime juice, avocado, celery seed, Worcestershire, salt, sugar, cilantro and parsley. Blend until smooth.

Finish: Combine 3 ounces of the base, 3 ounces of the mix and 2 ounces blanco tequila in an ice-filled pint glass or other tall glass; stir. Garnish with a round of cucumber and a lime wedge. Serve at once.

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