The Bloody Mary is cocktail with a checkered past.
With unclear origins, alternative ingredients and a murderous monarch for a namesake, this tomato-based beverage is the classic ‘hair of the dog’ drink – and for good reason.
A heavy vegetable base is intended to settle your stomach after a long night of drinking, with salt to replenish lost electrolytes and a couple of condiments with kicks – Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco – being thrown in to really combat your crapulence.
But with such an eclectic array of ingredients, the construction of this cocktail is a delicate operation. Crush your ice and you risk diluting the tomato juice. Add too much Tabasco and you’ll overpower the entire drink. Over-garnish and you’ll end up having to hack your way through the foliage before your first sip.
Instead, start simply. Fill a Collins glass with several large ice cubes and set to one side. Next, take a stainless steel shaker and add four parts organic tomato juice to two parts vodka. Use a crisp, clean vodka – you’ll be adding enough grit and spice later.
Next, add half a measure of lemon juice, four dashes of Worcestershire sauce and four dashes of Tabasco. Mix with a long bar spoon for around 20 seconds, and then add the dry ingredients – a pinch of black pepper and a large pinch of sea salt.
Stir vigorously for a further 20 seconds, and then strain into your Collins glass. Top up with ice until full, and garnish with one stick of celery – also to be used as a stirrer – and says sayonara to your hangover.