Editor's note: Each Saturday morning we bring you a Sunday Brunch recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.

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[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

To some of us, the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar is one of the best incentives you can use to get us over to your house for brunch. The idea takes the personal nature of a buffet and applies it to a cocktail.

The trick to a good Bloody Mary bar is not using the most expensive vodka you can buy (although good vodka never hurts); it's having the best options for garnishes. To me, pickles are essential, but I can live without celery. The addition of protein to my Bloody Mary, be it a freshly shucked oyster or a stick of beef jerky from the corner store, is always more than welcome.

This recipe takes the sound Bloody Mary concept and applies it to gazpacho. The base for this chilled soup is very simple, but the flare comes from the garnish that your guests can add to their own bowls. You may have an urge to serve a Bloody Mary beside this soup—resist it. Instead, follow the style of my Midwestern in-laws, and serve this Bloody Mary with a beer chaser.

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Bloody Mary-Flavored Gazpacho »

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass.  Find more information at sydneyoland.com (or read eatingnosetotail.com)

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