I’ve been on a Bloody Mary kick lately. Can you blame me? They used to be among my least-favorite drinks on the spicy spectrum, because too often they serve as an un-subtle tomato juice delivery system for booze. But recently they’ve been adopted as a wonderful canvas for exciting flavors and innovation.
And so it was with great delight that I stumbled upon an account of a Bloody Mary Olympics held in London about a month ago.
The rules: entrants were given a dazzling and slightly nutty range of ingredients to work with, such as beetroot juice, Guinness, paprika, wasabi and roast garlic cloves. They were expected to pair the drinks with bar snacks ranging from filo pastry lollipops to popcorn crayfish marinated in vodka to corned beef hash. And each drink had to include a shot of Absolut, the spirits company sponsoring the event (grand prize was a trip to the Absolut Academy in Sweden).
Here’s the winning drink, which I am translating into Americanized measurements. (Speaking of translation, I had to look up “on the piste.” It’s a ski slope reference. I was concerned it might be crude menstrual cycle slang, considering the drink category and the British propensity for puns. I’m already sorry that I brought this up. Moving on…)
The cocktail was served with a frozen celery stick dipped in horseradish snow (similar to an ice cream, it melts slowly into the cocktail as you drink it). And the accompanying snack was corned beef hash cakes and piccalilli (kind of a chopped tomato relish).
Although I don’t see any instructions for making “horseradish snow,” my best guess is to mix together crushed ice with prepared white horseradish or grated fresh horseradish.
Mary on the piste
3 1/2 ounces tomato juice
1 1/4 ounce Absolut Peppar (or I suggest making your own jalapeno-infused vodka)
1/2 ounce dry sherry
Juice of half a lime
4 dashes of Lea and Perrins
2 dashes of Tabasco
1/2 tsp of Bovril diluted 1/10 (Yanks – try beef bouillion as a substitute)
Freshly ground pepper
Mix together and pour over ice in a 10oz glass. Make horseradish snow & spread on half a celery stick to garnish. (These are frozen & great for summer!) Serve with corned brisket of beef hash cakes with mustard and piccalilli.