How to Spice Up a Bloody Mary

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In honesty at some otherwise unspoken level I kind of keep trying to be "done" with harissa for awhile so that you don't think I'm exceptionally, overly fixated on it. But almost as soon as I decide I won't write any more about it, I seem to find some other way to use it that's so good I don't want to be stingy and not share. And hey, if it's a good relationship that keeps getting better over time, why not run with that?

This is about a cocktail and has nothing to do with couscous or really even anything Tunisian. It just tastes really good. Quite simply, it's just a Bloody Mary made with harissa instead of your usual spice mix. It's super simple. Just put a spoonful or two of harissa into your next Bloody Mary.

Even with canned juice, this is seriously good. It takes the idea of having a V-8 to new levels of loveliness.

Or, if you're not drinking alcohol you can just mix it tomato juice. You can up the harissa portion to meet your own tastes for heat. Personally I've been going with at least two teaspoons into a good-sized glass of tomato juice. I haven't been putting in the alcohol, but there's no reason you shouldn't.

If you do make this up, I recommend foregoing any ice and just having the juice really cold before you blend--the ice tends to water things down and detract from the intensity of the flavors. If you want to play around when tomato season comes around again you could make your own heirloom tomato juice from scratch at home.

But even with canned juice, this is seriously good. Easy, easy, easy and really good!! It takes the idea of having a V-8 to new levels of loveliness. Garnish could be a stick of organic celery, or better still, with a nice wedge of one the Mahjoub's preserved lemons.

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Ari Weinzweig is co-founder of Zingerman's Community of Businesses, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also the author of Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating. More

After graduating from University of Michigan with a degree in Russian history, Ari Weinzweig went to work washing dishes in a local restaurant and soon discovered that he loved the food business. Along with his partner Paul Saginaw, Ari started Zingerman's Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan, a staff of two, a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods, and a relatively short sandwich menu. Today, Zingerman's is a community of businesses that employs over 500 people and includes a bakery, creamery, sit-down restaurant, training company, coffee roaster, and mail order service. Ari is the author of the best-selling Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating and the forthcoming Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon.
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