Kitchn Love Letters

The Must-Have Brunch Staple I Order in Bulk This Time of Year

published Dec 22, 2021
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Credit: Lumina/Stocksy

Before we get in too deep here, please allow me to make one quick caveat: I actually order this brunch staple all year long. I always have it (and a surplus!) on hand. It’s just that I order extra during the holidays, when my husband and I (usually) host a lot of out-of-town guests. What could I possibly be talking about? Those who know me well might think I’m talking about a certain kind of cheese. Those who’ve ever spent the night at my house, however, know that I’m talking about McClure’s Bloody Mary Mixer.

None for you, pup.

While it’s easy enough to make a Bloody Mary from scratch, I’d rather take a shortcut. Especially when the shortcut is, well, the best I’ve ever had. No exaggeration. See, McClure’s started in 2006 as a pickle company, founded by two brothers using their great grandmother’s recipe. The brand grew and they eventually started making a Bloody Mary Mix featuring, of course, their signature pickle brine. (Plus dill, garlic, and more.) It’s still a family-run company (the brothers even roped their parents into joining the team), everything is made in Detroit, and ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible.

But back to that part where I said it makes the best Bloody Mary. It does! To quote myself directly: “It has so much going on, I don’t even feel like I need to have fun accompaniments to hang outside the glass,” I said back when we were planning our Bar Edition of Kitchn Essentials. Funny story about that: A few editors and I actually got into it (in a super-friendly way!) with some of us voting for McClure’s and a few voting for another brand. Ultimately, our panel of experts helped tip the scale in favor of this mix.

Credit: Lisa Freedman

To make a Bloody (as they’re affectionately called in my house), simply shake the jar and pour two parts mix to one part vodka into a glass with ice. Stir it up and you’re good to go. Like I said, I don’t even feel obligated to add pickles, olives, other accouterments. The mix is spicy, but not too spicy; it has just the right amount of bite. (There’s actually an Original Spicy mix and a Mild mix, but trust me when I say you should get the Spicy one.) The pickle brine really shines. And the little bits of garlic add a nice extra punch. I actually love it so much, I’ve stopped ordering Blood Marys while out at restaurants because I’ve been disappointed too many times, after sipping drinks that are all spice or, oddly, just totally flavorless.

Credit: Lisa Freedman

I always keep one jar in the fridge and one in the basement as a backup, but this time of year, I get the four-pack (four 32-ounce jars) for $40. This way, I know I’ll be prepared for all the holiday brunches we have coming up.

Do you have a Bloody Mary mix you swear by? Tell us in the comments below!