How To Create A Bespoke Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary at Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs, NYC. Photograph by Mr Paul Wagtouicz
The delights of alcohol, tomato juice and spice are an experience to be savoured. One might think these seemingly odd ingredients form a recipe for tragedy, a taste phenomenon that surely cannot constitute a cocktail. However, with the right methods and ingredients, there’s nothing better.
Historical accounts of the true origins of the now infamous Sunday-morning concoction differ. In my humble opinion, as a mixologist myself, true recognition should be credited to Mr Fernand “Pete” Petioit, a bartender in the 1920s who served up the first “Bloody” in Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Today, millions of Bloody aficionados have developed their own variations, recipes and additions, making the bespoke Bloody Mary an interesting weekend staple. Here is my take on this spicy special.
- 60ml (2oz) vodka
- 100ml (3½oz) tomato juice
- 15ml (½oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Worcestershire sauce
- Basil leaf
- Baby vine tomato
- Cayenne pepper sauce
- Ground black pepper
- Celery salt
- 450ml (16oz) mixing glass
- Clean highball glass
- A hawthorne strainer
- Bar spoon
- Jigger (to measure liquids)
- Straws to garnish
Pour a healthy measure 60ml (2oz) of top-quality vodka (Belvedere or Chase are particularly good) into a 450ml (16oz) mixing glass; add the tomato juice and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. A Jigger is the best thing to use for quantities. As per tradition, add three dashes of Tabasco and six of Worcestershire sauce. Next, try individualising the Bloody Mary with different spices such as a pinch of celery salt and ground black pepper, 1 tsp Atomic horseradish and 2 tsp cayenne pepper sauce. The latter is one of my secret ingredients.
Cool the drink in its mixing glass with ice and use a bar spoon to mix the contents. Try not to mix for too long (30 revolutions should do it) or you will dilute the drink. Using a hawthorne strainer, pour the contents from the mixing glass into a highball glass full of cubed ice. This tool will fine-strain the cocktail and keeps the liquid clear.
Variety and ingenuity rule supreme, meaning the garnish is the most essential part to finishing a bespoke Bloody Mary. Try adding a baby vine tomato, basil leaf and some black pepper dust to truly crown the creation. Slip in a straw and enjoy.