Winner of The Bloody Mary Olympics

Mary on the Piste (photo courtesy of

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)

Celery salt

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.


47 thoughts on “Winner of The Bloody Mary Olympics

  1. Love the reference to the “dreaded curse” – that popped into my mind too. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Oh, yum! Not a fan of insipid bloodies … but add some kick and a bit of beef broth and I’m there. Will definitely try this one as I’m intrigued by the sherry. It sounds magnificent!

    This past weekend, the husband mixed up some bloodies with Mezcal … they were terrific!

  3. thanks for the kind words (and if you found me on Freshly Pressed, thanks for stopping by!)

    Diva – I’d love to hear what you think of the recipe, as I haven’t yet tried it. But a Bloody Mary with Mezcal? Sounds smoky and divine…

    • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”? As in, you make Bloody Marys on a regular Sunday basis? Do tell…sounds awesome.

      • Errr- not quite! Domhnach na Fola, 1972: 27 civil rights protester shot in Northern Ireland by British military paratroopers.

        1. Listen to the eponymous U2 song.
        2. Wikipedia entry “Bloody Sunday”
        3. Drink a Guinness to commemorate.

        Peace, & read The Nation magazine /

  4. I loved reading this, and it caught my eye not just because I make a dreadful bloody mary, but because a buddy of mine picked up a bottle of bacon-flavored vodka online – not joking – and he then proceded to destroy my Sunday by making BLT bloody marys. Hope you don’t mind my dropping a link in here, but I thought you’d think this was funny. There’s a picture, too – with romaine lettuce heart wrapped in bacon as a garnish!

    • I’m glad you shared the link. That sound just unbelievably atrocious.

      I’ve had some very good bacon-based drinks (bacon-infused bourbon rocks!) but this sounds both awful and hilarious. Oh, that sad sad picture. thanks for sharing!

  5. This sounds sooooo delicious. I’m a softie when it comes to anything food related!

    Keep the recipes coming 🙂

    And please visit on all things college:

  6. No, but…it was a U2 song from the War album, based on Bloody Sunday, which was a massacre in 1972 Ireland when 27 civil rights activists were shot by British military paratroopers.

    Peace, & Read Good Books
    (and magazines like The Nation magazine/

  7. Yum! Looks Delicious.
    For those who mentioned they don’t like the taste of Bloody Mary’s, give a Caesar a try! This drink is very popular in Canada. Similar to a Bloody Mary but taste isn’t as strong and (in my mind) even more delicious!

  8. Bloody Mary is a drink I have always WANTED to like but have never learned to… it just conjures up glamorous images on long summer brunches etc. But this one I might actually give a try to…

  9. The “on the piste”reference has more than one meaning to us British. While it has the ski-ing/snow meaning it is clearly also meant to be understood as “Mary on the piss”.

    On the piss is one of the many ways the British might describe, (though only informally, it’s probably best not to use this expression unless with friends) of being under the influence of alcohol so the name is referring to the contents of the drink as well as the horseradish snow.

    I enjoyed your post, it’s not easy to get a good Bloody Mary,

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  11. Would it affect the taste too much if the dry sherry was substituted with non-dry sherry? You know, for a bit of extra kick?

    • Hiya dr S! I haven’t yet made the drink so it’s hard to say…but since there’s only a half-ounce of the sherry in there, I’m going to hazard a guess and say that it won’t affect the drink too much. I don’t think it will do the drink any favors, but I don’t think it will ruin it either.

      …but if you’re trying it out, I hope you’ll come back and let us know how your version turns out!

  12. i’ve been on a martini kick (even tried a pickle martini – it was amazing) but i’ve yet to satisfy my craving for a bloody mary… i think i’ll have one now. thanks for the inspiration! it looks yummy.

  13. Bloody mary is found in a lot of places in bars and pubs in India too. But I avoid it as it is alcoholic.

    In of the places, I had a mocktail called as Matahari. The drink is not great as it sounds. It was a mix of a few fruit juices and soda.

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  19. This not only sounds wonderful but looks incrediable! Can NOT wait to try it.
    I’m bookmarking this recipe! Thanks!

    You can check – Food Recipes Hub [dot] Com for more reicpes like this

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