New Orleans Never Had It So Good
Just add vodka: Mix up a mean cocktail with Garden District Bloody Marys
“Not many people know this, but there are seven ingredients in a typical Bloody Mary that clash with vodka,” says Dallas girl Stephanie Sanoja, founder of Garden District Bloody Marys mix. Sanoja, whose family roots stem from New Orleans, spent 18 months experimenting with her great Aunt Gladys’ old recipe from the Garden District.
Her quest resulted in an aromatic concoction of 21 ingredients that are spicy and bright — like a crawfish boil. “This is the first Bloody Mary mix that doesn’t turn bitter when you add vodka,” Sanoja says.
What makes her mix different? Beef broth, for one. For two and three: “A spice blend that is flavorful without the burn and a thinner mix so you can drink it all day — as you do in New Orleans,” she adds. Vegetarians can look forward to a meat-free rendition later this year.
“It’s all about the taste,” says creator Stephanie Sanoja, who chose premium juices and ingredients over cheaper, generic substitutes.
“It’s all about the taste,” says Sanoja, who chose premium juices and branded ingredients like Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce over cheaper, generic substitutes. The premade mix is balanced enough that it doesn’t require additional tinkering.
“There are a ton of juices in there — not just tomato and celery,” Sanoja says. She sounds like a craft cocktail mixologist as she rattles off the long list of ingredients, including parsley, red beet, cucumber, carrot, onion, green bell pepper, lemon and olive juices.
The sexy carafe, adorned with the sassy illustrations of Oak Cliff artist Gretchen Goetz, is curvaceous and bold — much like its redheaded founder. It’s made for gifting and socializing, and Sanoja designed it specifically with ample room in the neck for vodka to do a quick “shake and pour.”
Sanoja suggests a 1-to-5 ratio, vodka to mix. To give the drinks a nostalgic spin, she serves them fully garnished in fine crystal glasses, just like her Aunty Gladys did back in the day.
Just released for Halloween: a special edition “I Want To Suck Your Bloody Mary” 32-ounce bottle. Sanoja likes to release bottles with seasonal messaging — “Have a Bloody Mary Christmas” is another one — for easy gifting.
Garden District Bloody Mary mix retails for $14.99 for the 1 liter carafe. Visit the Facebook page for restaurants that currently stock the mix, including Spec’s, Talulah Belle, Bolsa Mercado and the Libertine Bar.