Besides the Mimosa, the Bloody Mary is the undisputed queen of the brunch cocktail world. Savory and spicy while still being refreshing, the iconic red drink is known for its restorative qualities, as well as for providing the opportunity to garnish with enthusiasm. But not all Bloody Marys are the same: for this adaptation, we lose the tomato juice in favor of carrots, lemon juice, honey syrup and caper brine. The Bunny Mary—created by bartender Rob Krueger while working at the now-closed Extra Fancy in New York City—gets its playful name and vibrant hue from carrot juice, punched up with savory caper brine and a spicy cayenne-and-paprika rim for the glass.
While vodka is the go-to for Bloody Marys and their many variations, the Scandinavian spirit aquavit makes an even more dynamic Bunny Mary. Botanicals like cardamom, caraway and dill pair beautifully with carrot, honey and hot sauce. Still, vodka makes a perfectly reputable Bunny Mary as well.
It might seem counterintuitive to add honey syrup to a savory drink like one with carrot juice and caper brine. However, tomato juice is often somewhat sweetened, and the carrot juice used will likely need a little sweetener to punch it up. Meanwhile, the caper brine gives it some extra acidity (as does lemon juice), as well as a pungent saltiness. Crystal hot sauce, a vinegar-based hot sauce from Louisiana, has a moderate heat level, and with only a teaspoon added it won’t bring too much fieriness to the party. Of course if you’re the type who loves a seriously spicy Bloody Mary, you can always up the amount added, or omit it entirely if making the drink for someone with low or no tolerance for heat.
To finish, the Bunny Mary is garnished with a sprig of parsley to give it an even more carrot-like appearance. But as with any savory morning drink, half the fun is in the garnish, so feel free to embellish with the usual suspects like olives, celery and pickled asparagus, or with pickled carrots to maintain the theme.
- 1 1/2 ounces aquavit or vodka
- 3 ounces carrot juice
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce honey syrup
- 1 teaspoon Crystal hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon caper brine
- Garnish: pimenton salt rim*
- Garnish: parsley sprig
Coat the rim of a Collins glass with the pimenton salt and fill with ice.
Combine all of the ingredients in the glass, and stir until chilled. Add more ice if needed.
Garnish with a parsley sprig.
*Pimenton salt rim: Combine 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Mixture will create enough to rim at least a dozen glasses.