Fermented Bloody Mary Base

Excerpted from Field Notes for Food Adventure by Brad Leone

Fermented Bloody Mary Base

I love Bloody Marys, always have. I’ve had ones I can’t finish and ones I dream about often.
For an arsenal of garnishes, you can pickle carrots, celery with leaves, olives, and small mushrooms the day before by soaking them all in vinegar with celery seed, fennel, and peppercorns. Or you can buy your favorite local pickles and accoutrements!

Fermented Bloody Mary Base



2 pounds cherry tomatoes

40 grams grated fresh horseradish root

3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

1/2 tsp Brad’s Za’atar (see below) or store-bought

15 grams kosher salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a vacuum bag or a jar and allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 days or up to a week, until bubbly and the tomatoes begin to burst. I’ve gone pretty long with these at room temperature (like 2 weeks) in a vac bag and they were absolutely delicious.
Once all the tomatoes have burst, they are good to strain. Discard the solids. All the liquid you get is the base for your Bloody Mary. Store it in the fridge and consume it ASAP. If you forget about it or don’t want to drink it anymore, poach some fish or chicken in it with a dab of butter… it’s unbelievably good.

Fermenting tomato bags


Makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup dried oregano


1/2 cup dried thyme

1/2 cup dried marjoram

1/4 cup ground sumac

 5 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds


1 tsp. toasted coriander seed, ground

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. kosher salt (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to a few weeks. Sprinkle over everything!

Excerpted from FIELD NOTES FOR FOOD ADVENTURE by Brad Leone. Copyright © 2021 from Voracious Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group.