I’ve long been a fan of the Caesar and when I first moved to London I was saddened to find that Clamato juice wasn’t readily available. I tried my first Bloody Mary in a vain attempt to satisfy my Caesar cravings and was sorely disappointed. Although the two drinks share many common ingredients – Worcester sauce, tabasco, vodka – they taste nothing alike.
When I finally accepted that I was unlikely to find a Caesar in London, I stopped comparing drinks and began to appreciate the Bloody Mary for all its tomato-y goodness. Over time, I grew to love them so much that I become somewhat of a connoisseur, making it my mission to find the best Bloody Mary in London.
And last week I think I found it. I was at the Dean Street Townhouse and tasted what was quite possibly the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had. Ice cold. Smooth. Zesty with just a hint of sweetness. It was perfect.
It will be several months before I’m back in London and able to visit Dean Street, so I decided to attempt my own version at home. A quick Google search turned up the Soho House ‘Detox Mary’ recipe, which included port in its list of ingredients. I’m partial to a glass of port now and again, so thought I’d try adding it to my otherwise pretty traditional, go-to Bloody Mary recipe.
The end result was delicious. The port added a touch of sweetness which contrasted nicely with the lemon and salt. It didn’t taste exactly like the drink I had last week, but I think it will be a perfect substitute until I can taste the real deal again soon.
1.5 oz vodka
Good quality tomato juice
1 handful of ice
Juice of 1/4 lemon, plus 1 wedge for garnish
Celery salt (or rimmer mix, like this)
A splash of port wine
3-4 drops of Tabasco sauce, to taste
3-4 drops Worcester sauce, to taste
Add ice, vodka, lemon juice, a pinch of celery salt, port wine and tomato juice to cocktail shaker. Gently shake until very cold – be careful not to shake too hard, no one wants foamy tomato juice!
Rim glass with lemon and celery salt/rimmer mix. Fill glass with ice and add strained tomato juice mixture.
Add a few drops of Tabasco and Worcester sauce to taste. Personally, I like it nice and spicy so always add lots of Tabasco. Mix thoroughly.
Dress with a wedge of lemon. I also chose to garnish with a pickled bean, but feel free to use any other pickled vegetable or a celery stick.
Take a sip and enjoy, but always remember it’s not supposed to taste like a Caesar!