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Forge Bloody Mary

January, Bloody January

So you’re hung-over from Christmas and New Year still, you’re not a fool who’s succumbing to a Dry January, so what can you drink that may assuage a guilty conscience and may make you feel better?
Queue the Bloody Mary. We all know this cocktail (yes, it is a cocktail) but most people wouldn’t think of it at any other time than as a morning after ‘hair of the dog’ constitution saver. In my humble opinion, it’s a wonderfully versatile beverage that should and can be enjoyed almost any time at all.

The main reasons it’s so good as a hangover cure is simple. You’re dehydrated and lacking in essential salts and vitamins and tomato juice has water, salts and goodness in it and the booze just takes the edge off. Now there’s some conflicting stories as to the origins of this drink, from Harry’s Bar in Paris (the birthplace of many a famous drink), to the Hemingway Bar at The Ritz, Paris. New York’s 21 Club has two claims associated with it! But let’s not get bogged down with that, Let’s talk ingredients!
Forget your basic shot of vodka, limp lemon slice, warm tomato juice and two cubes of ice down the local. If you ask me, a good Bloody Mary should be constructed with care and have a minimum of 8-10 ingredients. I like mine in a pint glass, purely because there’s quite a lot in it. Here we go: 2 parts Vodka/Gin, 1 part dry Sherry, 1 part Stones Ginger Wine (adds a wonderful sweet edge to the spice), 4 parts tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, grated horseradish, lemon juice, salt, pepper, the ubiquitous celery stick with lemon wedge and olives to garnish (and eat). All these (minus the garnish) are thrown in a shaker of ice, mixed well and chilled down before pouring in your big glass over ice. It’s a real meal!

At home I have a pre-made mix of Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, selected spices and secret ingredients creating a very spicy syrup-like liquid in a bottle. All I need to do is chuck a measure in with the booze and juice and you’re good to go!
Now for some off-piste variations… Two ballsy drinks; The Bullshot and The Buckshot. These are not for the faint hearted but picture yourself in front of a fire in a log cabin on the side of a snow covered mountain (hang-over optional) and these are perfect. Essentially you’re replacing the tomato juice here with either beef stock (The Bullshot) or venison stock (The Buckshot) and I’m talking proper pot-boiled stock, not the from-a-cube or jelly (piss off Marco Pierre White) sort. That’ll put hairs on your chest that will. You probably have to have a beard to drink these, but damn they’re good!
So add a little class to your glass this January and get a ‘healthy’ alcoholic beverage down your gullet.
As always happens when I’m writing these, I don’t half fancy one myself now. So have one I will! Cheers!