After almost a year and a half in business, I’ve met all sorts of people: newbies who think Portland Bloody Mary Mix is too spicy, die-hards who drink it with habanero vodka for an extra kick, and everything in between. If you’re in the it’s-too-spicy camp, this post will help you put out the flames in a hot minute (or even less).
Instinct will make you reach for a glass of ice water. Don’t. It will bring temporary relief while the water is in your mouth, but it will ultimately make matters worse. Have some bread handy, or pieces of cheese if you’re not vegan. Bread helps soak up the capsaicin and moves it on down your digestive tract where it can become another problem entirely. Dairy products coat your tongue and mucous membranes, allowing the capsaicin to pass through your system with less detrimental impact.
A word about getting Bloody Mary mix on your hands: just to be extra cautious, it’s best to wash any residue off with soap and water rather than wiping your hands on a dry napkin. Otherwise, next thing you know, you’ll rub your eyes or some other sensitive area where the bread and cheese trick will no effect. All you can do at that point is apply cold water, wait, and pray. I can tell you from experience that running around the kitchen, flapping your arms, and shrieking is no help at all.
But I will say this to my It’s-Too-Spicy friends: after the holidays, and after I’ve had a chance to catch my breath a little, I’m going to start working on a less-spicy version. It will still be vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and low in sodium, but I will be dialing back the cayenne pepper substantially. I want to give it a little added something else, but I haven’t decided what that is yet. Do you have any ideas for me? Inspire me in the comments below!