Bloody Mary

Whether you overdid it on roast lamb, red wine and Easter eggs yesterday, or whether you are just celebrating Fresh Tomato Day, today’s recipe is the restorative classic Bloody Mary. 

Originally made with gin (The Red Snapper), the drink was developed as a hangover cure in Paris in the 1920s. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the spiced vodka version became the dominant hangover or brunch drink that it remains today. 

When making a Bloody Mary it is important to resist the temptation to go big on spice and throw in a few pinches of everything hot you can find. That is not going to result in a balanced drink. Instead focus on a few complimentary flavours, add a little at a time and keep tasting until you reach the optimal level of piquancy. As a young barman I used to compete with my colleagues to create the best. (Read hottest) post-shift Bloody Mary. Usually by the time we’d added a dash of the third variety of hot sauce the resultant concoction was painful and I drinkable. 

I would, however, recommend the use of a pepper vodka or a homemade horseradish infusion if you’re so inclined. 

  1. Shake 50ml vodka (Absolut Peppar or a horseradish infusion if you have one), 100ml tomato juice, 10ml fresh lemon juice, a teaspoon of horseradish, three splooshes of Worcestershire sauce and three splooshes of Tabasco with cubed ice for twenty seconds.
  2. Strain into a chilled highball glass.
  3. Garnish with pepper, a wedge of lime and a stalk of celery.

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