How to Make the Perfect Bloody Mary

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The Bloody Mary is a cocktail of international renown, but little is known about its origins. It first came on the scene in the early part of the twentieth century: some claim its origins to be in New York, others Paris. Its name also has many different anecdotes attached the eponymous “Mary”. It has been claimed to be a reference to figures as varied as Mary Tudor, catholic Queen of England, and Mary Pickford, founder of the United Artists film studio.
The Bloody Mary is a drink that can be considered a precursor, if not symbol of, a branch of mixology defined as “liquid kitchen” that brings ingredients to the bar that until recently were found only in our kitchens…
The classic Bloody Mary is made from vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, celery salt, pepper, red Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. The combination measures must be perfectly balanced to obtain a drink that is pleasing on the palate, and leaves an aftertaste where each single ingredient can be recognized individually.
The starting point for the perfect Bloody Mary is, as ever, a careful selection of quality ingredients. After which there are a number of things you can do to help make your drink go down a treat…
The Tomato Juice
It is possible to buy some good quality ready to drink tomato juices. If you want to get the most flavor, you can get your own juice from fresh, plump tomatoes. You can do it without a juicer too. Cut a cross into each tomato and drop them into fiercely boiling water for a few seconds to make the skin come off easily. Don’t throw the skin away though! You can roast them to make a nice accompaniment or garnish for your finished cocktail! Then you just need to blend the tomatoes, until you have a smooth liquid. If you want you can filter the mixture, but don’t use fabric or a sieve with too narrow a mesh – you will lose too much pulp and end up with something that is far too watery instead of the intense, full-bodied juice required.
The Lemon Juice
Freshly squeezed please!
The Celery Salt
Difficult to find but you can do it yourself at home. First however, you will need to dry some celery out, then you can blend the salt and celery together until you have a fine, homogenous mixture. There are many other options available to you should you be willing to experiment, from unrefined sea salt to smoked salts and even more exotic varieties like red, blue or grey salt.
The Pepper
Here too, the name of the game is the careful selection of your spice! From the classic black pepper, you could try your hand with green pepper or with other quality varieties like Sarawak. If you want a more intense peppery flavor you can try pimento or cayenne, which are not strictly speaking varieties of pepper, but they will give your drink a unique character.
The Sauces
If you don’t want to use red Tabasco, you could try using the less spicy and more aromatic green variety. There are no direct alternatives for Worcestershire sauce, but you are only limited by your own imagination: from classic balsamic vinegar to barbecue, the more experimental might even want to try using anchovy sauce…
The Mix
The perfect Bloody Mary needs to be mixed properly – in such a way as to make the mixture uniform. It shouldn’t be shaken, but you can try a technique called “rolling” which is a fancy way of transferring the mixture from one cup to another to make sure the ingredients are all well combined.
Curious to find out more? Want to discover how to make the perfect cocktail? Then take a look at our Mixology area and see what takes your fancy!
By MicBas
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