Master of Cocktails Bloody Mary

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.

Master of Cocktails Bloody Mary ingredients

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:

Master of Cocktails smoked paprika

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’.

Master of Cocktails onion granules

Next, Celery Salt. Earthiness, and an ethereal celery high-note which comes from the celery seeds.

Master of Cocktails celery salt

Now black pepper – I’m just going to grind this straight in, but again, about 1/10th tsp.

Master of Cocktails black pepper

Next is Horseradish. About yeay much:

Master of Cocktails horseradish

Now a dribble (about 1ml?) of good quality Balsamic Vinegar. Again, umami depth is what we want.

Master of Cocktails balsamic vinegar

Now Sriracha. This stuff’s like Tabasco, but thicker, and with a huge umami-richness.

Master of Cocktails Sriracha

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.

Master of Cocktails Sriracha Hot Sauce

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.

Master of Cocktails olive oil

Now Worcestershire Sauce. About 15ml. Yep. 15.

Master of Cocktails Worchestershire Sauce

Now Vodka. 50ml. I’ve chosen Crystal Head for this.

Master of Cocktails Crystal Head Vodka

Why Crystal Head you ask? It comes in a decanter shaped like a bastard skull. Do you need more?

Master of Cocktails Crystal Head Vodka

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.

Master of Cocktails Stir

Once you’re satisfied that everything that was going to dissolve has, bung in a shedload of ice.

Master of Cocktails Ice

Now take a segment of Lemon, squeeze it over the ice and drop into the glass.

Master of Cocktails Lemon Squeeze

Top up with Tomato Juice (probably about 200ml?) and stir.

Master of Cocktails Tomato Juice

Now get yourself a nice leafy bit of Celery from the middle of the bunch.

Master of Cocktails Celery

Stuff it into the glass. This is a garnish, but the aroma is important. Hence the leaves.

Master of Cocktails garnish

The last thing to do is layer a float of Palo Cortado Sherry on top. We’re after a defined layer.

Master of Cocktails Sherry


Master of Cocktails Sherry Layer

A classic Bloody Mary.

Master of Cocktails 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:

Master of Cocktails Gin

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:

Master of Cocktails Labels

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…

Master of Cocktails Next Week

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