The Perfect Bloody Mary

We love a festive brunch, and when such an occasion calls for a cocktail, a good bloody mary can be tough to resist. As aficionados will attest, there is a certain amount of artistry involved when it comes to creating the perfect bloody mary, so we turned Elizabeth Heiskell of Oxford, Mississippi-based Elizabeth Heiskell Catering and Woodson Ridge Farms—who transforms her homegrown tomatoes into the delicious Debutante Farmer bloody mary mix—for expert advice and inspiration; here are her recommendations:

• The perfect bloody mary of course starts with the perfect mix (Editor’s note: We have tried Heiskell’s Debutante Farmer bloody mary mix and it definitely qualifies.) That said, it’s all about the lagniappe! Here’s a list of our favorite additions: Bacon, pickled okra, pickled green beans (hell, for that matter, anything pickled!), boiled shrimp, cucumber spears, celery, smoked sausage, horseradish, and every hot sauce under the sun. The possibilities are endless.
• The bigger the glass, the better. I think an oversized stemless red wine glass is lovely for a bloody mary.
• Perfect food pairings include cheese straws (a must), shrimp and grits, and ham and cheddar cheese biscuits with Jezebel sauce.

Expert tip from Elizabeth Heiskell of Elizabeth Heiskell Catering and Woodson Ridge Farms in Oxford, MS. I