It was time to formulate a drink for the brunch crowd and it occurred to me that the Merquén Infused Maple would make a terrific addition to a Bloody Mary-type drink, with its sweet, smoky and spicy flavor. I set out to buy ingredients and while staring at the wall of tomato juice at the store, the bright orange carrot juice off to the side caught my eye. If Sunday Brunchers embrace tomato juice, there should be no reason why they wouldn’t be open to a carrot juice cocktail, as sweet carrots are much more approachable than acidic tomatoes (especially with a fuzzy, post-party head).
The drink I concocted is much simpler than a Bloody Mary and, if I do say so, much better. Vodka and carrot juice turn out to be a very nice pair and the shot of Merquén Infused Maple give it some character with just the right amount of spice and sweetness. A quick squeeze of lemon juice brightens all of the flavors and the celery garnish pays tribute to its original inspiration, the Bloody Mary.
The only thing left to do was name it. I came up with what I thought was a winner: The Bloody Rabbit. Surveying a group of roughly 20 people, zero out of 20 thought it was a good idea. Some people actually recoiled. Apparently referencing the nickname of a Queen who burned as many as 300 heretics at the stake is acceptable for breakfast fare but theoretical violence to bunnies is beyond the pale. No matter. I introduce What’s Up Doc.
What’s Up Doc
2 parts chilled carrot juice
1 part vodka
¼ part Merquén Infused Maple Syrup
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Celery sticks for garnish
Combine the carrot juice, vodka and Merquén Infused Maple Syrup in a glass and stir. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste. Garnish with a celery stick and serve.