SKOWHEGAN — On her best day working at Bullwinkle’s restaurant on Sugarloaf Mountain, bartender Katie Quinn said she sold 16 gallons of her own bloody Mary mix.
That’s 512 pint-size vodka drinks sold from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
She said she told managers at the restaurant and bistro at the top of the mountain’s Bucksaw chair that the mix they were using was too expensive and that she could cut their overhead by making her own.
The recipe is called Ass Over Teakettle Bloody Mary Mix, now made by Quinn, 32, of Cornville, in the kitchen of the Mason’s lodge on Water Street in Skowhegan. She said “ass over teakettle” is one of many colorful expressions used by her great-grandmother.
“It means â€˜head over heels,'” Quinn said. “It will kick you right square in the donkey and knock you head over heels.”
She said she already has promised sales of the spicy mixture, said to be a hangover cure and a nutritious breakfast all wrapped into one, to Bullwinkle’s, Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern in Freeport, and more than 50 individuals for private use. She also is contacting specialty food and beverage stores in Maine for possible sales.
The mix will be sold in 32-ounce jars for $9.95 and gallon jugs for $32, with discounts for bulk purchasing. A quart makes about eight pint-size bloody Marys.
“The key is that it’s a simple recipe and it’s refreshing,” Quinn said. She won’t reveal all of the ingredients, but she said, “It’s basically tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, Texas Pete hot sauce, fresh lemon and lime, Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
“It has the type of heat that starts to heat your mouth up and then it goes away, so it’s not a lingering heat.”
Quinn is manager at Lakewood Inn Restaurant at Lakewood Theater in Madison during the summer. Lakewood Theater, named the State Theater of Maine in 1967, is owned by Curtain Up Enterprises, a nonprofit group managed by her parents, Jeff and Susan Quinn. The restaurant opened in 1999.
She is mixing, measuring, marketing, making labels, and purchasing jars, spices and vegetables awaiting her commercial kitchen license and label registration from the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. She said she had assistance from a University of Maine course called Recipe to Market.
The final recipe took her about a month to perfect, using friends to test it — with or without the vodka.
Quinn said Main Street Skowhegan Executive Director Dugan Murphy helped her rent the kitchen at the Mason’s lodge, where she did all the renovations necessary for a food-processing kitchen to ensure her state license.
Quinn said she wants to expand the Ass Over Teakettle brand by using the mixture in recipes for a cookbook. She said a college friend of her mother has recipes that would spice up quite nicely with her mix. Recipes include chocolate truffle, meatloaf, seafood Newburg, Manhattan clam chowder, Mexican chimichurri rub, crab dip, blue cheese dip — everything made with the bloody Mary mix.
Ass Over Teakettle mix can be found on Facebook.