The Bloody Mary is a bit like a good pot of gravy – it is not about precision or following a recipe but instead adding whatever you have in the cupboard and tasting your way through until you reach perfection.
I’m sure every person has a secret ingredient they like in their Bloody Mary, and it turns out the bars of Manchester are no different. So, I have done a bit of snooping and a taste-test or two to pick out the best additions to create the Perfect Bloody Mary.
The Mary over at Volta includes a sumptuous shot of full-bodied red wine which brings a welcome tang and sour note to the drink. Volta is liberal with their freshly cracked black pepper too, of which I am a big fan, and they let you choose your level of spicy on a scale of 1-10. Be warned though, they are pretty liberal with the heat so try not to show off because your little tongue won’t be happy.
My favourite way to start a meal over at Red’s True Barbeque is with a Bloody Mary. The signature ingredient that makes the bev at Red’s extra special is their house-made devil wing hot sauce which is pretty darn spicy. On top of that, they garnish their Mary with a rasher of smoky bacon which is perfect for getting your chops into after you’ve emptied the glass.
The Bay Horse Tavern is home to a fantastic brunch menu, and where there is brunch, there must be Bloody Mary’s. I am told that their version of the classic breakfast drink has a generous squirt and Sriracha in it which brings spice and a lovely garlic-y tang.
I like my Bloody Mary’s with a slight smoked note, so I am a big fan of the one from Harvey Nichols Second Floor Bar and Brasserie. They add liquid smoke into their brunch-beverage (which you can buy for yourself in their next-door deli shop.) Just in case that wasn’t enough they also pop a little spoon of chipotle paste in there which just brings the whole thing to the next level. You can buy liquid smoke online here too.
Although lemon juice and/or zest is the traditional citrus ingredient, El Capo are masters in all things Mexican, so naturally, their Bloody Mary has a twist of lime. They do the standard BM, but they also offer a Bloody Maria which swaps the vodka for tequila which tastes pretty darn lovely.
The chap who sits next to me at the office is obsessed with Henry C’s down in Chorlton, and although I haven’t had it myself, I am told that the Bloody Mary at this particular establishment is excellent. Not only is the vodka used in the drink infused (in-house) with horseradish, the drink is topped off with home-cured caper berries for a little-added texture.
The Laundrette has a pretty extensive menu of Bloody Mary’s which are souped up with all sorts of ingredients from HP sauce to Tom Yum curry paste and coconut milk. I have to say, their original (made with citrus vodka) is banging, but I love their Bloody Orient made with sake, soy sauce, wasabi and lemongrass. I like my Mary’s hot as fuck so when it comes to added wasabi- sign me up.
Recipe: The Perfect Bloody Mary
|2 Parts Vodka
4 Parts Tomato Juice
1 Measure Red Wine
1/2 Measure Fresh Lime Juice
4 Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. Wasabi
1 tsp. Siracha
1 1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
2 tsp. Small caper Berries
2 Large Capers for garnish
1 rasher of ultra crispy bacon
1 Celery stick for garnish
Celery Salt & Pepper
It is safe to say these bad boys were very much enjoyed here at the Finest office…