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Let's be honest: Come January 1, we may not wake up only to a few regrettable texts but also wake up feeling a little worse for the wear. The only proper way to ease back into the world (and toast to 2017) is a power brunch, complete with a spicy Asian Bloody Mary.
Shayna Cott, the beverage director of Brooklyn's hit Korean barbecue spot and karaoke den, Insa, swears it's the "best bet" for getting through the day after a rough night. And what better test is there than New Year's Day.
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The Bloody Mary has been the morning cocktail of choice for decades, but the origin of how that came to be is nearly impossible to get to the bottom of—unlike the drink itself.
Several sources point to Harry's New York Bar in Paris, where bartender Fernand "Pete" Petiot supposedly started mixing vodka brought over by Russian émigrés with canned tomato juice in the 1920s. Other tales point to an alcohol-free drink made with tomato juice and oysters popular in the 1890s. Ironically, it is often classics like the Bloody Mary that allow for the best variations.
Insa's version is light and refreshing, with a savory underbelly from fish sauce, a touch of sweetness from soju, a kick from a mixture of kimchi and powdered wasabi, and a salty-spicy punch from the rim of togarashi, a Japanese spice blend. And while it calls for accoutrements like pickled ramps, Cott says almost anything goes. "We've all seen cheeseburgers [atop Bloody Marys]. If we've gone that far, certainly anything you find in your fridge is acceptable." A sentiment that for the first day of the New Year feels just right.
Kimchi Bloody Mary
Recipe adapted from Shayna Cott, Insa, Brooklyn, NY
Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 15 minutes
For the Bloody Mary:
4 cups tomato juice
2½ cups soju
½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon, kimchi brine
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
½ tablespoon Tabasco
½ tablespoon prepared horseradish
¼ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon wasabi powder
For the Garnish:
Pickled cocktail onions
In a large pitcher, stir together all of the Bloody Mary ingredients until well chilled, then divide between ice-filled glasses. Garnish each glass with a skewer containing an olive, pickled onion, pickled ramp and cucumber kimchi. Float a pinch of cabbage kimchi and a lime wedge next to the skewer, garnish with togarashi salt then serve.