Has Robert Earl Keen Invented the Perfect Hangover Cure?
It's one of the most iconic lines, in the most iconic Christmas song to ever be written in The Lone Star State. And it has even inspired its writer to perfect the hair of the dog.
Robert Earl Keen's “Merry Christmas from the Family,” is a song about a disastrous family gathering and it includes the notable lyric: “Make Bloody Marys cuz we all want one / send somebody to the Stop ‘n Go / we need some celery … a bag of lemons.”
What if I told you that the line has led to Robert Earl Keen inventing the perfect hangover cure? Keen, an obvious lover of Bloody Marys, tells Munchies.com:
“We started talking about making some kind of [mix], but I said, ‘I am not gonna carry bottles of tomato juice around with me.’ Which is how we came up with this dry mix,” he says.
It didn’t happen overnight. “We started using Texas spices as much as possible—boxes of them—and putting them together,” he says. “We’d also use some hibiscus flower and some natural flavoring, like ancho chile, and then have these taste tests. Then it became a trick to figure out how they all wouldn’t sink to the bottom. We really needed an emulsion—I really don’t remember how we solved that problem, but we did.”
So what's the balance on an REK Bloody Mary, ingredients?
“I think the ratio has to do with sweet and spicy; that’s what we were looking for. Ot has to have a lot of tang but be backed up with the ahhhh. The perfect balance,” he says.
His own recipe for the ideal Bloody Mary—aside from his proprietary mix—is pretty classic: A celery stick with the leafy top for stirring; he loves olives but can forgo them.
“If you’re using, say, a standard 12-oz. glass, use round ice—those one-and-a-half-inch by one-and-a-half-inch … maybe five of those.”
For tomato juice? “Just the canned stuff. What I want is a bland tomato juice that doesn’t detract from the flavors.”
And the vodka? “Man, I tell you, this is old school but I really like Stoli,” he says.
Read the complete write-up from Munchies, here. And remember this Saturday (Sept. 12) Robert Earl Keen returns John T. Floores Country Story to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "No. 2 Live Dinner," here are details on how you can stream the entire concert live.