Tips for Making the Best Bloody Mary

Tips for Making the Best Bloody Mary

Interview with Wember Castillo, Head Bartender at Bistro Duet:

What is your favorite type of vodka to use in a Bloody Mary?

I really like using spiced vodkas or rich-flavored vodkas. Mushroom vodka, for example, adds more earthiness to a Bloody Mary. My current favorite is an organic tomato vodka. Its flavor is similar to sun-dried tomatoes, which provides a rich layer of tomato flavor that holds up nicely with the other flavors.

There are so many versions of Bloody Marys out there. What is your favorite?

As much as I like Bloody Marys, I like a "Bloody Maria" even more. All you have to do is use tequila instead of vodka. I use a Reposado or Anejo tequila to achieve a more complex flavor.

What is your favorite seasoning to use when you make a Bloody Mary?

You can add the kitchen sink into a Bloody Mary if you really want to. My favorite seasoning to use is celery salt - and best of all - it's found in most people's spice cabinets. Celery salt really ads a wonderful fresh flavor.

Do you have any interesting garnish ideas?

Absolutely! The two most unique garnishes I've seen have been cajun shrimp or pickled green beans. You can either skewer a cajun shrimp or hang it right off the side of the glass. Otherwise, simple celery stalks and olives are always a safe option.

Wember's favorite Bloody Mary Recipe @ Bistro Duet:

- 1.5 oz organic tomato vodka

- pinch of celery salt

- pinch of cracked pepper

- a few dashes of tabasco

- lime and lemon juice

- pinch horseradish

- .5 oz Worcestershire sauce

- tomato juice



How to Poach a Perfect Egg

How to Poach a Perfect Egg

From choosing the right eggs to adding the perfect sauce, Chef Cyrille cracks the case for making the best poached egg this side of the Mystic River.

Q: What do you look for when purchasing your eggs?

Chef: I use eggs from free range chickens because they produce a more flavorful egg with a bright yellow yolk.

You can tell when an egg is at its freshest when it sinks to the bottom of a pan of water. As an egg ages, the air bulb between the shell and the egg increases. If an egg stands up in water, it is still okay, but not as fresh. If an egg floats in water, toss it in the trash, it's not fresh enough to eat.

When you crack into a hard boiled egg, you can find the air bulb between the shell and the white  – the bigger the space the older the egg.

Fun Fact - a hard boiled egg will spin on is side very fast but a fresh raw egg won’t.

Q: What is the most important factor when poaching an egg?

Chef: It is very important to use slow simmering water. Rapidly boiling water is too hot for cooking a delicate egg. Add salt and a dash of white wine vinegar to the water to facilitate the coagulation.  

Q: Fact or Myth – does adding salt to the water when poaching eggs decrease the time it takes for the water to boil?

Chef: But of course you add salt to the water, but only for seasoning. It is a myth to think salted water boils faster than unsalted!

Q: What is your favorite way to enjoy a poached egg?

Chef: I prefer my poached eggs with hollandaise for Benedictine. But I also like a nice Beurre Meurette which is a delicious red wine butter sauce.