There’s Something About Smokin’ Mary Bloody Mary Mix
By Jaime Carrillo on January 12, 2016
Four years ago, the tomato season was good to Laurie Nadeau, perhaps a little too good.
Nadeau’s bumper crop yield meant tons of smoked salsa, but even after making a big batch, she was still left with far too many tomatoes than she had any use for. A friend recommended in passing that she try her hand at making Bloody Mary mix. Mix was unorthodox, but the tried and true foodie that she was, Nadeau figured she’d give it a try.
After perfecting her product, Nadeau christened her the mix Smokin’ Mary, due to the added smoked flavor her mix brings to any party it crashes, from cocktails to meatloaf. Nadeau took some time to speak with Foodie Daily, to discuss trial and error, the potential her mix has and how Smokin Mary is converting even the most ardent Bloody Mary haters.
Where did you get the idea to make a smoky Bloody Mary mix?
I had a huge crop of tomatoes about four years ago. I was making smoked salsa out of them, but I was still left with a huge surplus and a friend suggested to me, “You should make Bloody Mary Mix.” I went ahead, smoked tomatoes, drew in a bunch more things to make it to my liking. I’m very much a foodie, and I like flavorful items, foods. I added gourmet spices and ingredients, and it sort of just developed from there. I mean, it took several tweaks to get it perfect, and lots and lots of feedback and encouragement to get it ready for the market.
How many tries did it take to get the recipe down just right?
It took about 15 revisions over a four-year period. My Gunieau pigs were anybody and everybody. People nationwide, actually. My husband is from the east coast and I’m from the west so we have friends and family from all along our lifetime in different areas. We sent it out to different people in different areas in different age brackets so we could get good, well-rounded feedback.
Do you believe Smokin Mary is as best as it can be because it has so many people involved in getting it right?
Was it hard to get people behind the product initially or did people flock to it immediately?
You know when you tell people about it, they have a hard time wrapping their heads around a smoked Bloody Mary. But when I do live tastings, nine out of 10 people buy it. The flavor is just phenomenal and it’s got so many uses, not just for cocktails.
To that effect, what other uses does Smokin’ Mary have other than mixing it with Grey Goose?
Personally, I prefer Beefeaters Gin. I just love the dimensions it gives it. Others use Tequila…I’ve had others try it with whiskey. The only one you never want to use is rum [Laughs]. It just doesn’t work. It’s actually really good just diluted with water, over ice. As far as cooking, anything where you use tomato-based sauces, you can replace the mix with. It’s extra thick, so it allows you to add it to recipes as well as making your cocktails go further.
What’s your favorite way of using Smokin’ Mary?
It’s fantastic in meatloaf. It’s really, really good in Chicken Parmesan. Stew, chicken enchilada casserole, and of course oysters on the half-shell. It’s hard to choose just one item.
The gourmet ingredients really do set it apart. When you look at a bottle of it, you can actually rotate the bottle and see all the ingredients in it. It’s got a lot of texture, so when you’re drinking it there’s little chunks to bite into. Which is just how I wanted it. I wanted it to be a one-stop and done kind of mix, where all you have to do is add your desired spirit or even water. Unlike other mixes, you’ll never have a watered down Bloody Mary.
What are your pie-in-the-sky dreams for your product?
To have the opportunity to get it out there, so that more and more people can enjoy it. What I find during live demos is people coming up to me and saying, “Wow, this is really good, and I don’t even like Bloody Marys.” It’s allowed people to expand their pallets.
First we’re going nationwide, and hopefully then worldwide. You know, helping make it a household name.