Darn it, summer is almost over. Labor Day is next week and that means it’s time to get back to work, stop going to the beach, sign up for playground duty, and… start planning a winter vacation. Well…yea for the last item at least. It can also mean a barbecue saluting the final long weekend before autumn arrives.
When Labor Day was originally proposed by the Central Labor Union of New York back in 1882, its real purpose was to serve as a tribute to the working class of men and women whose physical labor had built the country. The first Labor Day was marked by a demonstration with speeches in support of workers’ contributions, followed by a picnic. Over the next several years, this practice was adopted by municipalities and states until the federal government in 1894 declared the first Monday of every September to be a legal holiday.
Today Labor Day has become more associated with a final fling before the end of summer rather than with a celebration of the working class. So, I wonder if Labor Day isn’t just an anachronism, a throwback to an earlier time, and no longer a meaningful holiday. But then I think it can be meaningful if we redefine this holiday to be more of a celebration of work. Labor hasn’t become easier; it’s just changing. Just because a majority of workers are no longer unionized, blue-collar, manual laborers, doesn’t mean they don’t work hard. In fact, these days many people work longer hours than ever to adapt to the global economy and communications technology demands. Are you, like me, one of those workers perpetually tethered to your smartphone or tablet? You and I may not be physically working, but we’re virtually always at work. So perhaps Labor Day should recognize the productivity and contributions of all of us whether we’re pounding nails or pounding keyboards.
Contemplating the trials and tribulations of Labor Day Weekend can be taxing. So you may be ready to kick off the weekend while enjoying a really great Bloody Mary. Today’s recipe comes from celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio created exclusively for Ketel One Vodka. A Bloody Mary is great any time of day, making it a perfect fit for this holiday weekend.
A note from celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio’s team shares some insider tips, “For a fun take on this classic, you can freeze a pre-batched Bloody Mary mix into plastic popsicle sleeves (think otter pops) and seal by cryovac, and freeze. Once frozen, squeeze out frozen pop into a tall glass, and add Ketel One Vodka, along with other classic garnishes (i.e. celery, olives, etc).” Voltaggio suggests incorporating Old Bay for a spicy and festive twist. You can add Old Bay to your mix, or simply rim your glass with the spice.
OOH Mami Mary Recipe
Compliments of Chef Michael Voltaggio
2 oz Ketel One Vodka
3 oz san Marzano tomato juice
2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
Pinch celery salt
3 dashes celery bitters
Pinch crushed black pepper
Pinch Maldon smoked salt
Teaspoon Worcester sauce
Dash soy sauce
1/2 oz lime juice
Dash liquid smoke
Old bay for rim
Rim a tall glass with Old Bay (smoked salt for non-spicy) fill glass with ice and set aside
Add everything to shaker with 4 ice cubes, shake for 10 seconds, and strain into old bay rimmed glass