While planning a birthday brunch for my sister-in-law (who loves a good Bloody Mary), I made the following recipe.
Note: this recipe can be made one day in advance, covered tightly, and stored in the refrigerator.
4 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups of 3/4-inch long celery pieces, preferably inner stalks
One or two jalapeño chilies, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
One lemon, cut into 3/4-inch pieces and seeds removed, plus one or two lemon wedges for dampening glass rims
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce, such as Crystal or Tabasco brand
Finely ground sea salt, preferably grey salt
Fennel spice rub for coating glass rims (see below)
Vodka or gin, preferably kept chilled in the freezer
Celery heart stalks, lemon wedges, or Spanish queen olives for garnishes
In a bowl, toss together the tomatoes, celery pieces, jalapeños, lemon, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and 1 teaspoon grey salt. Pass the contents of the bowl through a heavy-duty juicer. You should have about 3-1/2 cups.
Have eight to ten Collins glasses ready. Spread some spice mixture on a small plate. One at a time, run a lemon wedge around the rim of each glass, and then dip the rim into the spice mixture. Fill all the glasses with ice. Pour 1/4-cup vodka/gin into each glass, followed by 6–8 ounces of the tomato mix. Garnish each glass with a celery stalk and serve at once.
(I froze sliced jalapeño wheels in ice cubes, and then used these spicy ice cubes instead of regular ice.)
Fennel Spice Rub:
1 cup fennel seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons white peppercorns
3 tablespoons finely ground sea salt, preferable grey salt
In a small, heavy skillet, combine the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns over medium heat. Watch the mixture carefully and toss frequently until toasted evenly. Once seeds are fragrant and light brown, pour onto a plate and cool. (They must be cool before grinding or they will gum up the blender blades.)
Pour cooled seeds into a blender and add the salt. Process until the spices are finely and evenly ground. Store in an airtight container.