Cocktail of the month: Bloody Mary

The classic hangover cure

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Since we’ve already dealt with hangovers this issue, it seems appropriate that our cocktail of the month should also be one of the most famous hangover remedies of all time (and one of only two cocktails that it’s socially acceptable to order for breakfast). Such is its notoriety in this respect that 1 January is almost universally recognised as Bloody Mary Day; though it seems to us a shame to limit it to a single day of the year.

Like so many of the greats, the Bloody Mary can be traced back to Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the 1920s, where a bartender named Fernand Petiot jazzed up a popular tomato and vodka mix with some fancy spices. There are many explanations for the rather dramatic moniker, the most popular and straightforward of which is that Petiot named it after Queen Mary Tudor, who was popularly referred to as “Bloody” Mary after beginning her reign with a spot of sectarian murder.

The recipe itself is a highly personal balance, and we’d definitely recommend starting with the proportions below and then experimenting to find your perfect blend of heat, acidity, sweetness and booze. But the real fundamentals of a successful Bloody Mary are technique (lest you end up with a tasteless, watery mess) and quality ingredients.

In our version, we’ve used a rather extraordinary vodka called Black Cow, which is distilled from the fermented milk of West Dorset dairy cows. The distillery is a family business, born from 300 years’ experience in – improbably – cheesemaking. Scratching their heads over a better way to process their wasted whey, the founders turned to the ancient Mongolian practice of fermenting milk. The result is a ridiculously smooth, clean vodka that is just as good neat as it is in a tall cocktail, and perfect for a Bloody Mary.

For the all-important tomato juice, we’ve picked Folkington’s, another excellent family owned business specialising in premium juices. Its tomatoes are sourced from Spain’s famous Ebro valley, where around 3,500 tomato farmers work over 5,100 hectares, harvesting their fruit mostly by hand, for some of the finest tomatoes anywhere in the world.

Black Cow vodka is available at blackcow.co.uk

Folkington's Juices are available at Amazon.co.uk


How to make a Bloody Mary

Ingredients: 

60ml Black Cow vodka

120ml Folkington’s tomato juice

1tbsp lemon juice

8 drops Tabasco sauce

3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

A generous grind of black pepper

A pinch of salt


Method

The trick here is to chill the cocktail rapidly before filling the glass, so roll (don’t shake) the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, to minimise melting. Then quickly strain into a Collins glass pre-filled with ice straight from the freezer. Serve immediately, garnished with a stick of celery.


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