Some Like It Hot, A Creole Bloody Mary


         I created a Creole Bloody Mary just in time for the Super Bowl to honor New Orleans. I have spent a lot of time below the Mason Dixon line. My great grand father started the athletic department at UNC and I still have family in North Carolina. I have some close friends in Alabama and love spending time on the beach in the gulf. These experiences have made me a natural southern cook.

The Creole Relish in this bloody mary adds a spicy sweet yet a little bit tart element. It is also a phenominal addition to a homemade pizza, a burger, on grilled chicken or even with added cheese to dip your French fries in. I combine southern flavors with classic south of the boarder flavors to make amazing huevos rancheros using spicy chorizo served with a side of Creole Relish. It adds a sweet, tangy crunch to the eggs. I keep homemade relish and hot sauce it in the refrigerator at all times. If you do spend the time to make each, I guarantee you won’t just use them in this drink. Once you make your own fresh sauces you will be just as spoiled as I am and always have some on hand.

Some Like It Hot –

  •  2 oz Bulleit Rye
  • A pinch white pepper
  • A dash Worcestershire sauce
  • One heaping spoon full of  Creole Relish
  • Two dashes Homemade Hot sauce or Cholula Hot Sauce
  • One heaping spoon pickled peperoncini juice
  • 5 oz tomato juice
  • Lemon Squeeze
  • Slap Ya’Mama Seasoning

Using a lemon wedge round the top of a pint glass. Turn the glass over and roll it in Slap Ya’ Mama seasoning. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add Ice. Shake just until combined. Pour Creole Bloody Mary into a pint glass. Garnish with pickled carrots, pickeled radishes, cucumbers and a spring of Italian parsley. Enjoy.

Creole Relish

  •  One large red onion
  • 1 tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon curd
  • 1 juice from one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon Dill Weed
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sorghum syrup

Prepare charcoal grill. Cut tops off of onion and peel. Cut onion into eighths. Brush with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Grill until onions are caramelized and just starting to brown. Alternatively, roast onions in a 400-degree oven on a baking sheet.

Combine all other ingredients in a food processor. Using a spatula transfer relish into a bowl. Put onions into the same food processor until finely chopped. Fold red onions into relish mixture. Let sit in the refrigerator at least over night or up to two weeks.

A & P Hot Sauce

  •  2 Habanero chili peppers
  • 10 red jalapeños – halved 
  • one red bell pepper – quartered 
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay
  • tablespoon grapeseed oil

In a blender all ingredients except salt and old bay. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large saucepan. Add the pepper mixture. Let simmer and whisk slowly until thickened. Fine Strain mixture into an airtight container. Place in refrigerator.

Pickled Radishes with Chiles and Ginger

  • One bunch of radishes.
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 Thai Chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons ginger, peeled and chopped

Wash radishes and cut ends leaving half and inch stem. Cut each radish into fourths. Place radishes in a small bowl or quart sized Mason jar with a lid. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and water in a saucepan. Bring mixture up to a boil. Cook only for a minute just until the sugar and salt dissolves. Let cool. Add chilies, garlic and ginger to the radishes. Pour the mixture over radishes. Add water if necessary to completely over radishes. Place the lid on top of the jar or plastic wrap over the bowl. Refrigerate for two days or up to two weeks stirring once a day, every day.

Pickled Carrots with Fennel

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • one pound of carrots
  • one small head of fennel

Peel the outer skin off a pound of carrots. Using a sharp pairing knife, cut carrots lengthwise into quarters. Take off outer layer of a fennel bulb and wash throughly. Cut fennel into ¼ inch rounds. Arrange carrots and fennel into a small pyrex dish. In a small saucepan bring two cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and add salt, peppercorns, and garlic. Stir well, making sure salt dissolves completely and let cool. Add mixture to carrots. Add enough water so that the carrots and fennel are fully submerged. Cover pyrex with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least two days or up to two weeks.

Gun Powder & Lead


Looking at Bulleit Rye you immediately notice it’s irresistibly rich, amber color. It explodes with flavors of cherry cola, fall bake spices, subtle oak and warming cinnamon. Mysterious notes from the deep south of Corsier Red Absinthe fill this cocktail with tarragon wrapped in citrus infused hibiscus. Then balanced off with bold cherries that have a trace of black cardamom. The first sip of this cocktail warms you up, the second sip fills you with fire, and with the third sip….well, all I can say is, ‘Gun Powder and Lead’.

  • 2 oz Bulleit Rye
  • .5 oz Corsair Red Absinthe
  • 2 dashes Woodford Reserve Cherry Spiced Bitters
  • .5 oz Cherry-Black Cardamom Shrub
  • Lemon wedge
  • Orange Twist

Lightly muddle lemon wedge in a beaker. Then combine all ingredients except Corsair Red Absinthe to the beaker. Add ice and stir well. Add Corsair Red Absinthe to chilled rocks glass. Roll glass around coating as much of the inside surface as possible. Pour out remaining absinthe. Fine strain cocktail into chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Cherry-Black Cardamom Shrub

  • 5 cups cherries halved and pitted
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 2.5 cups orange blossom honey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 8 black cardamom seeds

Wash cherries. Cut in half and pit each cherry. Combine cherries, sugar and honey in a bowl. Stir all ingredients lightly muddling berries. Place bowl in the refrigerator. Let sit for 48 hours – making sure to stir three or four times a day. Add vinegar, black cardamom seeds, and a stick of cinnamon. Let sit in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Again stirring at least once a day. Fine strain into an airtight container.

You’re My Sweet Potato Pie

I always make sweet potatoes, topped with candied pecans and mini marshmellows for Thanksgiving. This lushy version is just as tasty.

  • 2 oz Bulleit Rye
  • 3/4 oz Benedictine
  • Two heaping tablespoons sweet potato puree
  • 2 Dashes Pecan Biters or The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
  • Maple infused whipped cream, a flamed marshmallow, sprinkling of cinnamon

Add all ingredients into a warm glass. Add 2-3 oucnces boiling water, stir well, top with cream, cinnamon and flamed marshmallow.

Sweet Potato Syrup

  • For every sweet potato
  • ¼ cinnamon
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • 1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sorghum syrup


  • 1 oz Cinnamon infused Bulleit Rye
  • 1 oz Apple wood smoked Calvados
  • ½ Canton Ginger liqueur
  • 1 bar spoon All Spice Dram
  • 1 Dash orange bitters
  • 1 Anise seed for a garnish

Combine all ingredients with ice in a beaker. Stir well. Fine strain into a chilled rocks glass over an ice cube.  Garnish with an anise seed. Enjoy.