Bloody Marys Kill Hangovers, but Climate Change May Kill the Bloody Mary

Tomatoes are in turmoil.

by Josie Rhodes Cook
Flickr / Billy Millard

Not even brunch is safe from climate change anymore.

Grub Street went deep on the impact of climate change on the surprisingly large number of ingredients that go into a Bloody Mary on Wednesday. It’s an great piece but the news isn’t good for enthusiasts of the drunk’s favorite soup.

The experts Grub Street spoke to agreed that the ingredients that make up Bloody Marys may be threatened by our changing climate, as tomatoes, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, and more could be impacted by climate change, which would in turn impact a bartender’s ability to make a half-decent Bloody Mary if your goddamn hangover won’t subside and can someone tell me why the sun is so fucking bright?

Perhaps the news will be enough to get out the brunch crowd vote — one bar manager that Inverse spoke with says Bloody Marys and other drinks with produce could increase in price by about 15 percent in her location due to a rise in produce and vodka costs for the establishment.

Flickr / Wine Dharma

Fruits and Veggies Are At Risk

Tomatoes are obviously the most important item in a Bloody Mary. Scientific American reports that “fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today.” Although one might not much care how vitamin-packed their brunch beverage might be, it’s still a loss for the ever-present ingredient in Bloody Marys.

Higher temperatures can increase the chances that a plant will get blossom-end rot, making them ripen more slowly and reducing how naturally sweet something like a tomato is, according to The Journal of Cleaner Production. Clearly, this would hurt the overall quality of the tomatoes that go into Bloody Marys.

Unsplash / Moss

Grub Street also notes that lemons could be affected by climate change, but that celery, which is often included in a Bloody Mary, has been found to be “surprisingly resilient.”

The potatoes, wheat, or corn that goes into making vodka could also be affected by climate change, Grub Street reports. When the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato, it warned that potato biodiversity is being threatened, and that “If climate changes drastically, the area where wild potatoes grow naturally could be reduced by as much as 70 percent.”

“Save the Booze!”

Experts on climate change and the impact on global food supply did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Inverse on this topic. However, several bartenders did have some insight into a possible Bloody Mary supply shortage due to climate change.

Sarah Ennis, a bar leader in New Mexico, tells Inverse that the local franchise she works with actually had a meeting about climate change and how it impacts “all aspects of food.” She says lemon prices have increased, and that tequila and margaritas are threatened as well. Ennis tells Inverse:

Bloody Marys will jump in price about 15 percent (at least in my location) because of the increase in produce costs, not to mention vodkas. Save the booze!

And Briana George, a career bartender for over ten years, tells Inverse that in her experience, “a Bloody Mary at any function is as popular as a Budweiser at a 4th of July BBQ,” and that if you lose even one of the essential ingredients in the drink, “it will not be the same.”

Clearly, if we want to continue enjoying Bloody Marys, the beloved boozy brunch beverage, we’ve got to get serious about climate change before it’s too late to save the booze.

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