A Bloody Mary, With a Twist of Pickle

published Oct 1, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Bob and Joe McClure decided four years ago to use their great grandmother’s pickle recipe to start a company. Today, McClure’s pickles are sold across the country and they are offering a new delicious product: bloody Mary mix.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When the McClure brothers started the venture, Bob, an actor, had just moved to Brooklyn. They thought it would be smart to keep costs down and operate out of their hometown in suburban Detroit and leave the promoting and experimentation to Brooklyn. It worked. The idea is simple: they make two kinds of pickles – garlic dill and spicy – and sell them in glass jars as basic as the pickles they contain. Whole garlic cloves and dill are visible just below the black and white label and the sliced pickle spears fit perfectly inside the 32-ounce jars. This isn’t accidental: each jar is packed by hand and, more often than not, by a McClure. Mom and dad got in on the operation from the start, and not just financially; they are in the kitchen along with their sons six days a week prepping, pickling, and packaging.

Selling pickles at farmers’ markets and around Brooklyn, they heard many uses for their product. One bar in the East Village, BUA, serves a McClure’s pickletini: a dirty martini using McClure’s pickle brine in place of the traditional olive brine. As a marketing tool, McClure’s started serving samples of bloody mary mix made from their spicy pickle brine at their farmers’ market stands. At the time, they recommended using the leftover brine from one of their pickle jars and filling the rest of the jar up with tomato juice. Soon they started bottling the stuff on its own.

The mix is spicy, with chunks of pickles, dill stems, and whole spices mixed in. It’s great on its own, but better with ice cold vodka and a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Have you tried making a bloody mary with pickle brine?