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Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life is serving up a heaping plateful of table talk with people who are passionate about what's on their menu in Deglazed, a series about food.
Searching for a perfect happy hour cocktail? Actor and comedian Joel McHale suggests a brunch classic — the Bloody Mary. And yes, he thinks the tomato-based vodka drink is best served a little later in the day.
"Everybody is like, 'I'm gonna have this for brunch,' or, 'This is only for the morning,' and you see people on planes in the morning with them," says McHale, "But you can have them any time: I love a savory drink and the taste profile on a Bloody Mary — the tanginess of the tomatoes and the pepperiness and some vegetables and vodka — why can't you have that in the afternoon or evening?"
The Crime Scene Kitchen host credits his grandmother with sparking his interest in cocktails. "She was the most frugal person on the planet," he tells Yahoo Life. "Her idea of a martini was just gin and then whatever vegetables in her fridge were kind of turning. She'd walk out with this glass of gin with carrots, lettuce and a radish or two in it and they were always slightly brown. She'd be like, 'This is how I get my vegetables.' And I'd say, 'Yeah, and a quart of gin. Well done, Grandma.'"
McHale says his grandmother, Priscilla, died when she was 94, but wore bikinis well into her 90s. "You've never met anybody like her," he says. "And it wasn't like they were destitute — they did well — but she would drink her 'martinis' out of like a jelly jar or a McDonald's collector glass."
Grandma Priscilla also shaped the way the former host of E!'s The Soup likes his meatloaf. "She was not a good cook and she always made meatloaf for holidays," he says. "It was always terrible, but we would always eat it."
"It got to this point where now I just prefer kind of average meatloaf because it reminds me of my grandma," he adds. "We literally would eat before we'd go to her house because we'd be like, 'You never know what you're gonna get.'"
Another favorite food from McHale's childhood, his mom's spaghetti carbonara.
"I was born in Italy and my parents — that's where they met, fell in love, had sex and had me and my brothers," says McHale, who now has two kids of his own. "My mom always made this incredible carbonara and to this day, it's probably my meal where, if I die and go to heaven, there will hopefully be a big bowl of it. It's so good: Bacon and peas and egg — it's like breakfast and pasta — it's glorious."
McHale spoke with Yahoo Life as part of his work as the "Chief Happy Hour Officer" for Q Mixers. "I like the tiny cans," he says, "because they make my hands look enormous."
In his role as CHHO, McHale is promoting Q Mixers' two newest mix flavors: Bloody Mary and Margarita. "With the margarita mix, it's simple," he says, "just add tequila and a lime and you're on your way. It's a holiday and you didn't even go anywhere. And the Bloody Mary mix? You put some vodka in there and add your vegetables in there like my grandma did and all of a sudden, it's a three-day weekend."
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