Raymond Carver’s Bloody Mary

Morning, afternoon or evening—an appropriate option

I can’t drink bloody Mary’s very often but when I do I think, Why don’t I swill these more often?

One guy who could drink them at a rapid pace was the author Raymond Carver who I was always attracted to because he’s a Washington boy, having achieved much fame from the banks of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Port Angeles. His writing was dark, as I understood it, dealing with topics ranging from marital dismay to abusive parents and, of course, alcoholism. What I respect most about Carver’s writing is his ability to create anxiety within the reader. Read What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and you’ll see what I mean.

One bad ass man and a great writer.

If you haven’t heard about Carver you’ve had your head in the sand. He’s one of America’s greatest writers, master of the short story, and throngs still idolize him, despite his death, at 50, in 1988. One of my friends, a dude named Corky Luster, once took a pack of friends and did a Raymond Carver tour, boozing at the bars Carver preferred, and cruising by his old place in Port Angeles. Now that is an excuse to take a trip. Reason to be there, wherever that might be. Pick an author, Carver or someone else, research their history and do a tour. What a great excuse to visit the local haunts of interesting people and to drink some bloody Mary’s while you’re at it!

Carver, of course, was a raging alcoholic, following in his father’s footsteps. He penned words about the blue-collar life, because that’s what he lived prior to his ascent to fame. One of his quotes goes like this: “You never start out life with the intention of becoming a bankrupt or an alcoholic.”

One of the most famous stories about Carver was his relationship with another great author, John Cheever. They met in Iowa and presently became teachers and trainwrecks on alcohol. It’s said that worried students would invite the two to dinner just to make sure they ate.

Ok, on to the drink. Here’s the concoction. Enjoy.

2 oz. Vodka

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/4 oz. Worcestershire

3 dashes Tobasco

1/4 tsp. grated horseradish

pinch cracked pepper, pinch salt, pinch celery salt

Top with tomoato juice

Add celery stalk and lime wedge

Throwing in the salad.

A little extra jolt when nobody is looking.

That is a nice finished product. Try one this weekend.

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