The construction of a real Bloody Mary cannot be sniffed at. I would take hours - if it took that long - stirring, dripping, toil and troubling if it meant that our terribly sweet and slightly dull tomato juice could be more than just sieved fruit.
I like a Bloody Mary to fix me, whether it be a hangover, tiredness or gloom. It needs to sting and flare my nostrils at first whiff, pinning my eyelids up to my brows as if sleep were forever forbidden. Or as if to warn other drinkers to tread lightly before taking a long slurp.
I'm cruel when it comes to pub pourers and brutal when it comes to home-concoctions...
So what goes into my Bloody Mary? The secret is I don't have a recipe - I pour by taste and mood and ALWAYS with 11 vital ingredients, all kittens and bows when served alone, ferocious when mixed together:
TOMATO JUICE; glassful of
HORSERADISH; spoonful of
CELERY SALT; sprinkling of
VODKA; gushes of
SHERRY; glug of
TABASCO; splashes of
BLACK PEPPER; crackle of
LEA IN PERRINS; dashes of
CELERY; stick of
SLICE OF LIME RUBBED ROUND RIM AND DROPPED IN; squeezes of
ICE; chunks of
...A bit of whoooaaaaa there nessy and...eye of newt, why not?
So here's a toast to the best Halloween cocktail around. We'll certainly be drinking it on the 31st, probably out of pumpkins, with devilled mackerel, and death by chocolate cake, just because we can - so if anyone has a recipe that they think tops the lot then please post below and I'll make - only bloody scary bloody mary's allowed. None of this tame stuff.
If it doesn't bite, it ain't right.