Better than a Bloody Mary

            After a trip to Oaxaca, where they serve the delicious mescal with a Bloody Mary-like chaser, I developed what I call the Sangre de Maria – a more citrusy and complex Bloody. Here’s how to make it for a crowd:

1 48 oz. bottle tomato juice—don’t get the low sodium kind or you’ll simply end up with cocktails that need salt
1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is best but pricey)
1/2 cup unsweetened lime juice (not Rose’s, which is sweetened)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground ancho chilies (optional)
A handful of roughly-chopped cilantro
A few shakes of Tabasco

Blend the first seven ingredients until almost smooth. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher, and add as much vodka as possible. Just be careful not to overwhelm either the cocktail or your guests. Add it by the slosh until you think it’s enough. Never forget this cardinal rule: you’re not making a hydrogen bomb. You’re making a drink. Proportions aren’t critical with Bloody Marys or Sangres de Marias.