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Recipes: 3 modern (and awesome) Bloody Mary rims and garnishes

Don’t resort to wimpy celery ribs. The next time you make a Bloody Mary, try one of these incredible garnishes instead.

Dilly Beans

Makes about 1 quart


1 cup distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon pickling salt or 2 tablespoons kosher salt

3 garlic cloves, cut into quarters

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 to 1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

12 ounces fresh green beans


  1. In a non-reactive pot, combine 1 cup of water with the vinegar, pickling salt, garlic, dill, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute.
  2. Rinse and trim the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and have a bowl of ice water handy. Add the beans to the boiling water and blanch them for 45 seconds. Drain the beans and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking.
  3. Once the beans have chilled, pack them into a clean 1-quart glass jar. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic cloves to the jar, then pour the brine over the beans to fill the jar. Refrigerate the beans for at least 2 days before eating them either as a bar snack or Bloody Mary garnish.

Beef Jerky

Makes about 12 ounces

Homemade beef jerky is not only surprisingly easy to make, it's a perfect garnish for thecocktails in Ellen Brown's new
Homemade beef jerky makes a great Bloody Mary garnish. (Photo courtesy of Steve Legato) 


2 pounds top round, bottom round or flank steak

½ cup apple juice

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

6 garlic cloves

½ small white onion, diced

2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste


  1. Trim all visible fat from the beef. Place it on a sheet of plastic wrap and freeze it for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is firm but not frozen.
  2. Combine the apple juice, vinegar, garlic, onion, chiles, mustard, honey, fish sauce, liquid smoke, black pepper, paprika and red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
  3. Remove the meat from the freezer and cut it against the grain into slices 1/8-inch thick. Add the slices to the marinade and stir to coat evenly. Marinate the beef in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.
  4. Line the bottom of the oven with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and set the oven racks into the top uppermost rungs. Remove the meat from the marinade; discard the marinade. Place the slices directly on the oven racks, leaving ½ inch between the slices. Set the oven to 170 degrees, and place the handle of a wooden spoon in the door to keep it slightly ajar.
  5. Dry the meat for 3 hours, then turn the slices with tongs and dry for an additional 3 to 4 hours, or until you can rip a slice in half easily. Transfer the slices to wire racks to cool for at least 6 hours. Then transfer the slices to an airtight container. The jerky can be stored at a cool room temperature for up to 2 months.

Bloody Mary Rim Mix

Makes about ½ cup


¼ cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons sweet Spanish smoked paprika

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons celery seeds

1 teaspoon dried thyme


Combine the rim ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Store in a dark, cool place for up to 4 months.

— All recipes from Ellen Brown’s “The Bloody Mary Book: Reinventing a Classic Cocktail” (Running Press, $18)

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