This week we're making a classic drink on #MasterofCocktails – a Bloody Mary. We'll get through this, and then I'll explain what you should have made instead. Clear? Good.
Now for me, when it comes to Bloody Marys, it's all about seasoning. Hence the (frankly ridiculous) list of ingredients.
What we're after is something to compliment the umami-rich flavour of tomato juice and work with the spice of the Worcestershire sauce. These are really the two key ingredients in this drink, and we're aiming to add to them.
You’ll be needing these...
(Although, as I’ll explain, there’s actually something else you should obviously be using...)
List of Ingredients
50ml Crystal Head Vodka
15ml Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
200ml Tomato Juice
15ml Palo Cortado Sherry (this one’s actually from Waitrose)
1/2 tsp Hot Horseradish (not creamed)
2ml Olive Oil
1 or 2ml Sriracha Sauce
1ml (or a dribble) Balsamic Vinegar
1/10 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/10 tsp Onion Granules
1/10 tsp Celery Salt
1/10 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
1 Lemon Segment
Leafy Celery (Garnish)
So – let's make a start. Take a decent-sized glass (a wine glass is great for this), and begin adding the dry ingredients.
With all of these, we're going to be adding about 1/10th of a teaspoon. This much:
That first ingredient was smoked paprika. Adds a subtle smoke and rich sweetness.
Next up – freeze-dried onion granules. Again, huge umami influence, and a bit of onion 'bite'.
Next, Celery Salt. Earthiness, and an ethereal celery high-note which comes from the celery seeds.
Now black pepper – I'm just going to grind this straight in, but again, about 1/10th tsp.
Next is Horseradish. About yeay much:
Now a dribble (about 1ml?) of good quality Balsamic Vinegar. Again, umami depth is what we want.
Now Sriracha. This stuff's like Tabasco, but thicker, and with a huge umami-richness.
A shot of the bottle in case you want a brand to use. Probably about 1-2ml of this depending on how hot you want to have the finished product.
Next up – about 2ml of good quality, peppery and fruity olive oil. This contributes 'greenness'. Sounds mental, but the top-notes from the oil really contribute to the overall finished drink.
Now Worcestershire Sauce. About 15ml. Yep. 15.
Now Vodka. 50ml. I've chosen Crystal Head for this.
Why Crystal Head you ask? It comes in a decanter shaped like a bastard skull. Do you need more?
Oh, you do? Well it's fronted by Dan Akroyd from off of Ghostbusters. There.
More you say? Well... There isn't any. It's Vodka. it's designed to taste neutral, and has to be distilled to over 96% by law (which removes pretty much any pretence of flavour). Vodka's vodka, pretty much.
So – tip the neutral alcohol in, and give it all a bit of a stir. Don't be put off by the oil.
Once you're satisfied that everything that was going to dissolve has, bung in a shedload of ice.
Now take a segment of Lemon, squeeze it over the ice and drop into the glass.
Top up with Tomato Juice (probably about 200ml?) and stir.
Now get yourself a nice leafy bit of Celery from the middle of the bunch.
Stuff it into the glass. This is a garnish, but the aroma is important. Hence the leaves.
The last thing to do is layer a float of Palo Cortado Sherry on top. We're after a defined layer.
A classic Bloody Mary.
You'll notice there's no straw. That's because I'm not:
1. under 10 years old
2. wearing crap lipstick
(Those, for the avoidance of doubt, would be the only two acceptable circumstances for a straw with a drink.)
Now – would you all like to know exactly why that recipe is complete bullshit?
The reason that recipe is bullshit is (of course) because this stuff exists:
You may have heard of it – it's called 'Gin'.
All that time effort and care we took selecting delicious flavour-packed ingredients, and we go and use a neutral spirit? Madness. Absolute madness. Only a damned fool would use anything other than gin.
The name of a Bloody Mary made with gin is a 'Red Snapper'. Write that down in your copy books now.
In fact, better still, get yourself a DYMO, and start sabotaging bar menus:
I've just popped a slug of St. George Spirits fantastic Terroir Gin into the top of this and it's been transformed. The bay leaf notes work so well and adds another whole dimension to it.
That’s all for this week folks, next time on #MasterofCocktails we’ll be indulging in a little cocktail porn...
Next week, you’ll be needing these...
Punt e Mes – 1970s, Martini Rosso – 1970s, Campari – 1970s, Beefeater Gin – 1970s and an Orange (not from the 1970s) #CocktailPorn