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  • Writer's pictureJ. M. White

Caprese Bloody Mary (Final Girls)

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Picture it:

She is beautiful.

She doesn't drink or smoke with everyone else.

She is intelligent and more resourceful than her friends.

Now, she is tearing through the woods.

Her dress is torn and streaked with blood.

She is the only one left alive.

She is the final girl.

This is a trope seen in slasher horror repeatedly, its popularity rising from the genre films of the 70s and 80s. This is also the main idea behind Riley Sager's debut novel, Final Girls. Sager utilizes what many consider a cliché: six college kids, a cabin in the woods, a maniac wielding a knife, and transforms it into something modern and fresh. Warning: there is some gore in this thriller, but I encourage my non-horror-lovers to give it a try. There is a solid mystery here that I guarantee will leave you guessing till the end.

The Plot

Ten years ago, Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone as the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a Final Girl.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won't allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, another Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

The Drink

Of course, I had to pair this novel with a Bloody Mary (get it?). This isn't just any Bloody Mary though... this is a Caprese Bloody Mary! Like Final Girls, this drink is a modern twist on an old classic. And the garnish here is not just for looks. Dunk the cubed mozzarella in the Bloody for a tangy snack.

What I like most about this cocktail is its versatility. I enjoy my Bloody's on the mild side. Add or decrease whatever suits your taste preference. Go ahead, add those two tablespoons of hot sauce, throw in an extra clove of garlic, stick in a piece of bacon. Do you. Have fun with it!

Caprese Bloody Mary


Yield: 2 servings

Total time: 5 minutes

For the Bloody:

  • 1 ½ cups tomato juice

  • 2 tsp. horseradish

  • 1 clove of garlic peeled

  • ¼ tsp. paprika

  • ¼ tsp. chili powder

  • 1 tsp. hot sauce

  • 1 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)

  • 3 oz. vodka (2 shots)- 8 basil leaves (more for garnish)

  • Ice

For the Garnish:

  • Small skewers

  • 4 basil leaves

  • 4 cherry tomatoes or Campari tomatoes quartered

  • Mozzarella cheese cubed

What You Do:

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients except ice.

  2. Blend until integrated. Taste and adjust to your liking.

  3. Fill two glasses with ice and pour in the mixture.

  4. Slide basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella on skewers for garnish.

  5. Serve immediately.


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