perfect Bloody Mary

perfect Bloody Mary by the james kitchen
perfect Bloody Mary, a photo by the james kitchen on Flickr.

A perfect Bloody Mary for Burns Night, celebrating the birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns (the one who wrote the poem “Auld Lang Syne”) on January, the 25th with all the paraphernalia: speeches, toasts, bag pipes, Haggis & Whisky. No Haggis in sight here and I have not yet tried one, our plan was a nice cocktail and I thought about a nice Manhattan, well, how Scottish is American rye whiskey? Bloody Mary it is…

…Don’t you think I already had one too many, Bloody Mary, of course, refers to Queen Mary I. of England, executed by her sibling & fellow redhead Elizabeth I. of England and not the other Mary in the whole mix-up, Mary, Queen of Scots. Noohooo, my reference to Scotland is that we learned how to make the perfect Bloody Mary from a (now) quite famous recipe from the Canny Mans pub in Edinburgh shown on Rick Stein’s Food Heroes. Long winded explanation but they added dry sherry and a really generous helping of Worcestershiresauce (say: Wooster sauce) to the rest of the ingredients and this is it, the perfect Bloody Mary.

By the way, Michael Ruhlmann has a quite interesting Bloody Mary with Fish sauce, lime juice & horseradish in his (highly addictive) Friday Cocktail section. A subtle hint of fresh horseradish (frischer Meerrettich) adds a nice kick, I think, a little bit too much though always reminds me of a rather strange cocktail sauce for Dungeness crab eaten at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. But that’s just me. Tourist tip:  If you are already at Pier 39,  you must visit the whimsical & quirky Musée Mécanique on Pier 45 for a few hours of childhood away from the beaten path. Bring change.

Just in case you’ll need some lyrics, here’s the original Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and auld lang syne*?


For auld lang syne, my jo,

for auld lang syne,

we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!

and surely I’ll be mine!

And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,

and pu’d the gowans fine;

But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,

sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,

frae morning sun till dine;

But seas between us braid hae roar’d

sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!

and gie’s a hand o’ thine!

And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,

for auld lang syne.


(from wikipedia, where one can find todays version, too)

Bloody Mary
for two or make double the quantities in a pitcher and invite some friends

120ml proper tomato juice
40ml vodka (we had Absolut)
20ml dry sherry (I used Tio Pepe Palomino Fino)
a spritz of lemon juice and a twist of lemon peel
several generous dashes of Worcestershire sauce
red Tabasco
a good Celery salt
black pepper or cayenne pepper (as used in the Canny Man Pub)
a celery stalk (or more for your guests)

Place some ice cubes in a pitcher, add all the tomato juice, vodka, sherry and season with the other ingredients to your taste, garnish with lemon peel. Stir with the celery stalk and pour. Start singing now.

Bloody Mary (deutsch)
für zwei, oder am besten gleich die Quantitäten verdoppeln, Freunde einladen und in einer Karaffe servieren

120ml guter Tomatensaft
40ml Wodka (wir hatten Absolut)
20ml trockener Sherry (Tio Pepe Palomino Fino)
einen Spritzer Zitronensaft & eine Spirale Zitronenschale
mehrere ordentliche Schüsse Worcestershire Sauce
roter Tabasco
gutes Selleriesalz
schwarzer Pfeffer oder Cayenne (wie im Canny Man Pub)
eine Stange Bleichsellerie (oder mehr für die Gäste)

Einige Eiswürfel, den Tomatensaft, Wodka & Sherry in eine Karaffe geben und mit den anderen Zutaten abschmecken & mit Zitronenschale garnieren. Die lange Bleichselleriestange zum Umrühren benutzen und schon mal mit dem Singen anfangen.


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