New Years Day to me means friends, good food, and the perfect Bloody Mary!  It’s hard to believe that the Christmas Season is coming to a close and soon we will be ringing in 2017.  Traditionally, we invite friends and family to our house on New Years Day for a little football, outdoor games, great food, and of course Bloody Marys.  We are fortunate to have my favorite Bloody Mary Mix right here in our own Sacramento backyard at Preservation & Co. Not only do we stock up on their Bloody Mary mix,  we also get  Big John’s Habanero Dill Cucumber Chips, Citrus Rosemary Salt, and Sriracha Salt.  I like to make Cucumber-Basil and Tomato-Chile ice cubes. These ice cubes are not only pretty, they also keep the cocktail flavors going strong.  Now we are ready for the perfect Bloody Mary!

 The Perfect Bloody Mary


  • 3 1/2 cups Preservation’s Bloody Mary Mix
  • 1 1/4 cups vodka
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons minced dill
  • 1 Peppadew pepper, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


In a pitcher, combine all of the ingredients and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Serve the cocktails in ice-filled, Citrus Rosemary Salt or Sriracha Salt rimmed Collins glasses or Mason jars, garnished with celery ribs, Big John’s Habanero Chips, green olives, candied bacon, a jumbo shrimp (peeled, cooked, tail-on) and black pepper.



Cucumber-Basil & Tomato-Chile Ice Cubes

2 1/2 cups chopped Persian cucumber

3/4 cup lightly packed basil leaves

1 Serrano chile, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

Kosher salt

3 cups tomato juice

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup lightly packed dill

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco


In a blender puree the cucumber, basil, Serrano chile, brown sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt with 3 cups water. Strain through a fine sieve into 2 standard ice cube trays and freeze at least 3 hours.  Clean the blender and add the tomato juice, jalapeno, dill and Tabasco and puree. Season with salt and pour into 2 standard ice cube trays. Freeze at least 3 hours.


Candied Bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Mix brown sugar, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Place bacon slices on cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, turn slices, and bake another 5 minutes.


Cheers, and Happy New Year!