What a surprise! January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day! (Yes, I know it’s a day late…) Bloody Mary is a ghost or witch featured in English folklore. She is said to appear in a mirror when her name is called three times or sometimes more while in a dark room, depending upon the version of the story, often as part of a game or dare.
When we lived in London, one of our favorite pubs was The Grenadier in a slightly hard to find Mews just off Belgrave Square, which is famed for its ghosts and has the reputation of being one of London’s most haunted pubs.
They served the best Bloody Marys I have ever had. They said they use a “secret” ingredient, I did my best to find out what it was, but alas, to no avail. I have a suspicion it was balsamic vinegar. Mario Batali has a recipe for a Balsamic Bloody Mary that is close…
Here is an actual picture from the pub…
24 oz V8 Juice
1 tsp celery seed
1 Tbs freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbs freshly grated horseradish
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
8 oz vodka
4 stalks celery, with leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
In a large pitcher, combine the vegetable cocktail, celery seed, pepper, citrus juices, 2 tablespoons of the horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Fill 4 glasses with ice. Add 2 ounces vodka to each and fill 3/4 full with the vegetable cocktail. Sprinkle with remaining horseradish, place 1 celery stalk in each glass, and squeeze a lime wedge over each glass before dropping the wedge into the glass. Float a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar on the top of each drink and serve.