Depending on which Parisian bar you’re propping up that day, the story of the Bloody Mary’s origins will differ. Some say that the Hemingway Bar in the Ritz Hotel is responsible for the almost century-old sup, while others argue that Harry’s New York Bar is its true birthplace.
Personally, we’d bet on iconic mixman Harry MacElhone – he of Harry’s Bar – being behind this now legendary, but oft-despised, hangover-banishing drink. The bastion of savoury cocktails, the Bloody Mary is said to have started life under a different moniker – well, in fact, a few different monikers. Initially dubbed ‘Bucket of Blood’, the Bloody Mary has also been known as the ‘Red Snapper’ and ‘Red Hammer’ over the years, in each case the name nodding to the drink’s trademark vicious-but-delicious kick.
Traditionally blending vodka, tomato juice and either black peppercorns or Tabasco sauce, the Bloody Mary has been riffed on more times than John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, with mixologists throwing in varying spirits, garnishes and sources of heat to help switch up the grande dame’s flavour.
But internationally renowned mixologist Simone Caporale has gone one step further, challenging everything you think you know about the cocktail with his Lobster Bloody Mary. As part of a collaboration with iconic London restaurant Quaglino’s to reinvent and refresh classic recipes, Caporale infuses the more traditional tomato juice with lobster bisque, and adds piquancy with English mustard.
“Although Tabasco is generally used for the source of spice, the inclusion here of a great English mustard is what makes the spicy character of this drink unusual and very, very well balanced,” he says. “It also avoids the vinegary notes that might occur by adding traditional Tabasco.”
Fusing sweet, acidic tomatoes with salty soy sauce and the subtle but punchy tannins of a good Sauvignon Blanc, Caporale adds dimension to an already complex cocktail. It’s everything you’d expect from this scarlet temptress, but more, as the lobster bisque adds an iron richness while the port delivers notes of fresh berries and an earthy wood scent.
“It combines for a savoury, spicy finish,” says Caporale. The perfect drink for both a pre-meal, or morning after, indulgence.
“Just don’t expect to experience your average Bloody Mary.”
Lobster Bloody Mary (Serves 2)
150ml Lobster bisque
150ml Tomato juice
Pinch of salt
10ml Soy sauce (use Tamari soy sauce for a gluten-free option)
60ml Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 tsp English mustard
Celery stick, to garnish
Grape, to garnish
Olive, to garnish
“Making lobster bisque at home is quite complex, so head to Waitrose instead. They have a great one. While you’re there, grab a bottle of PAGO tomato juice. Use Sempio or KikkoMan soy sauce, and grab a high-quality Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll also want to use a late-bottled vintage port.”
- In a cocktail shaker, all the lobster bisque, tomato juice, salt, soy sauce, white whine, port and tequila, and shake well until completely combined.
- Add the mustard to the shaker and, using a cocktail stirrer, stir until the mustard is completely dissolved.
- Using both hands, strain the drink through a Hawthorne strainer (held flush with the opening of the shaker) and a small fine sieve positioned over your glass.
- Add a celery stick, grape and olive to each glass and serve.
From Delicious To Stratospheric
“Instead of using bottled tomato juice, you could use homemade cold pressed tomato juice. Also, prepare these to have alongside a dinner featuring a whole lobster!”