BREAKING NEWS: Fermented Bloody Mary Mix is the cat’s pajamas.
This salty, umami mary mix gets its BIG flavor from a technique called, Lacto-fermentation.
Lacto fermentation is a method of fermentation that requires just a few simple ingredients and tools but can be a DRASTICALLY ✨transformative✨ tool for BIG flavor.
Without getting too scientific, Lacto fermentation is essentially a way of “pickling” and preserving food by way of submerging it in a salt brine. That’s it.
THE SCIENCE OF LACTO-FERMENTATION:
The high salt levels in the 5% brine we’ll be using provides an environment that is inhospitable to harmful bacteria but allows the good bacteria called ”Lactobacillus” to thrive. 🦠
These lactobacilli eat the natural sugars present in fruit or vegetables and convert these into lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The lactic acid provides the signature tangy flavor and preservation that lacto-fermentation is known for!
There are tons of delicious and popular foods that are lacto-fermented, such as classic dill pickles, escabeche, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
OKAY, LET’S GET TO THE BLOODY MIX!
For this mix, I kept it simple and spicy!
- Roughly cut, I added celery (stalk and leaves), white onion, garlic, jalapeño, Thai chili, and roma tomato to a quart jar.
- Push down your veg and fill the jar to the top with water. Then strain the water into another vessel and weigh. Multiply the weight of the water by 0.05 to find the amount of salt needed.
For example: if you had 100 grams of water, you would need 5% of that weight or 5 grams of salt in order to have a 5% salt brine. 🧮
- Add your brine back into your fermentation jar (with an airtight lid) and make sure your vegetables are FULLY submerged in the brine.
Using a fermentation weight or reusable plastic bag filled with water is helpful. We used an old deli lid that has been cut to size and a shot glass turned on its side but anything you’ve got that keeps our veggies submerged works! Time to channel your inner MacGyver!
- From here you’ll seal up your airtight jar, place it in a relatively warm dark place and wait for the little ones to do their magic!
Typically within a few days, you will start to notice some activity in the form of little bubbles and a small build-up of pressure. It’s good to burp your ferment every few days to relieve the pressure build-up from the carbon dioxide/bacteria farts.
That’s it! In about 7 days’ time, your ferment will be done! You’ll know when the brine becomes cloudy and the smell of the vegetables becomes a pungent symphony of savory, tangy deliciousness!
MY FERMENT IS DONE FERMENTING, NOW WHAT??
Now you’ll strain out your brine from your vegetables, reserving the brine, and blend the veggies up. Slowly add in a bit of brine until you get the consistency and salt level you prefer.
I went ahead and strained my mix after blending and then mixed in just a bit of the vegetable ”pulp” until the consistency was just right for my tastes. I prefer plenty of texture in my Bloodys, so I added about 3 tablespoons of “pulp” back into my strained ”juice”.
From here you can jazz up your mix however you like! It’s just a matter of taste and creativity!
For my mix, just a large tablespoon or so of freshly cracked black pepper and a bit of Lee and Perrins Worcestershire sauce* for a bit of that classic Bloody Mary vibe was all that was needed.
BAM. You’ve made your own Lacto-fermented Bloody Mix! Congratulations! Thank me later! Or now!
This is the Worcestershire sauce we grew up on and it’s the brand you’ll find behind most bars. You can usually find this brand at nearly every local grocery store in America.
These 1-liter swing top canning jars are super handy to have around. I usually pick mine up from a discount store like TJ Maxx because they are much cheaper.
- 1 Celery Stalk (with leafy top) 🥬
- 2 Jalapeño Peppers 🌶
- 2 Thai Birdseye Chilis 🌶
- 1 Whole Lime 🍋
- 4 Large Garlic Cloves 🧄
- 1 Medium White Onion 🧅
- 5 Roma Tomatoes 🍅
- Sea Salt 🧂(15g)
- Water 💦 (300g)
- Roughly chop all vegetables and add to 1-quart sealable jar
- Add 5% Brine and seal being sure to keep all vegetables fully submerged
- Place in a warm and dark place for 1 week, burping the jar daily
- Blend vegetables adding in small amounts of brine until you reach your desired salt level and/or texture
- Strain blended mixture and separate “juice” from ”pulp”
- Add “pulp” to “juice“ until your desired texture is achieved (around 3 tablespoons for me)
- Add in any additional spices or aromatics (i.e. Worcestershire, black pepper, horseradish, etc.)
- Done! Add in your spirit of choice and a bit of lime juice and you’re in Bloody Heaven!
During the one week fermentation period, be sure to degas or burp your jar to release c02 buildup.
When the brine has become cloudy and the smell becomes tangy and savory, your ferment is ready to go!