Cajun Mary + The Merits of the Eyeball

My tongue is a little bit on fire as I type this. There is nothing I love more than spicy, but whoa dang. In my search for and creation of the perfect spicy Bloody Mary, I came across Emeril’s recipe for a Cajun Mary, and decided to combine my love of spicy, savory and drinking in the morning, and turn an empty glass into one glorious creation!



And then Cajun Mary bit me in the arse. Or tongue, as it were. She bit me in the tongue.

Is that a little gross? Probably.

Full disclosure: I didn’t use Emeril’s recipe as stated, because where’s the fun in that? Rather, I used it as a jumping off point to make my own single serve creation, rather than a pitcher drink, as he indicates. Apparently Emeril would rather we not drink alone. Good to know.

Because of my devil-may-care attitude with this recipe, there are no actual measurements, just some good old fashioned eyeballin’. I used to freak out when my grandma would cook things and eyeball it, because the Type A organizer inside me needed directions and tidiness when I was learning how to cook, but I’ve come to believe that knowing how to eyeball is just as important as knowing how to braise or blanch or chiffonade, or anything else Martha can do and you maybe can’t (yet).

The ability to cook on your feet and improvise is how mediocre cooks differ from great cooks. A mediocre cook will always make things that are just fine, but a great cook will fail some, mess some things up, save some dishes, invent new ones, and leave their eaters with mouths open and tongues out because they took a risk and it paid off. GET RISKY, COCKTAILERS!

Whew! It’s warm up here on this stump!

Even fuller full disclosure: The fiery flaming hotness of this cocktail was because I did not follow the recipe. But like I said. Fun? Where? Yeah. We’re takin’ risks and eyeballin’ and not ending words with the letter G. Ready…go!



. Low sodium V-8 (3/4 glass)

. Absolut pepper vodka (1/4 glass or to taste)

. Spritz of fresh lime juice + a wedge to garnish

. Small dollop of horseradish (to your own taste, not to mine because dear Lord that is how we lose our taste buds)

. Splash of Worcestershire sauce

. Splash of hot sauce, like Tabasco or Pico Pico

. Shake of cajun seasoning

. Small pinch of sea salt (very small pinch – too much salt detracts from the other flavors)

. Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (one or two cranks from the pepper mill ought to do it)

. SMALL shake of Penzy’s Red Chipotle seasoning (see: horseradish) (ahem)

. Banana peppers for garnish + a splash of banana pepper juice for the cocktail itself


1. Stir all the ingredients together in a pitcher or glass. Or if you want to get really fancy or are an overachieving sort of drinker, you can put everything into a blender and give it a quick zoom-zoom! Whatever you do – be ye not so stupid as regards to the spicy. And if ye get crazy with the spice, then don’t come whining to me. I’m just saying.



2. Pour over ice and garnish with banana peppers and a wedge of lime. Other garnish options: celery, green olives, cocktail onions, cocktail shrimp, cherry tomatos, a roasted garlic clove.