The Great British Bloody Mary Challenge

Bloody Murder.  Ruddy Mary and Bloody Maureen. Whether you like your poison with sake, wasabi and black vinegar or Guinness instead of vodka; there are some deliciously expletive variations on the classic combo of tomato, spice and vodka.

Monday night saw a bit of a bloody Mary-off at Hix Restaurant in Selfridges.  We stood about with the likes of Henry Kelly, Patrick Anthony, Nancy Lam and Vanessa Feltz as some of London’s finest bartenders did their thing.

Mark Hix, Charles Campion, Tom Parker Bowles and Nick Strangeway formed the judging panel and Brian Turner compered.  I like Brian Turner. He has something of the embarrassing uncle about him – you just know he has some awful jokes up his sleeve and dances terribly to dad rock. I bet he’s good at darts too.

We tucked in to oysters, fish and chips and mini burgers while cheering on Veronika Stranovska (Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields) and Christian Watson (St John Restaurant, Clerkenwell) as they mixed up a classic and then their own unique version. My friends and I wanted Paul Tvaroh from Lounge Bohemia to win. This is mainly because when we’d been chatting to him about the influence behind his creations, he went off on a proper ten minute tangent involving the entire storyline of the classic French film “The Hairdresser’s Husband”.  Paul’s version involved a sphere of ice that you cracked open like an egg and some salty foam, but what he had really wanted to make was a drink that you squeezed from a toothpaste tube onto a celery stick “toothbrush”. Genius.  In the end a very deserving Pete Jeary from Hawksmoor took the prize with his clammy bacon version. All Monday’s should be this fun.

‘Alternative Bloody Mary’ Winner – Pete Jeary aka Shaky Pete (Hawksmoor)


Clam and Bacon Bone Broth – 60ml

Vodka – 30ml

Tabasco Chipotle – 10 drops

Lemon juice – 5ml

Worcestershire Sauce – 2 x drops

Eager Tomato juice – 70ml


Build, stir with ice, stir into Bloody Caesar Glass

No Garnish

‘Alternative Bloody Mary’ recipe for Paul Tvaroh (Lounge Bohemia)


50ml vodka

25ml LB toothpaste mix

Tomato juice to taste

25ml celery salt

2.5g lettuce

175ml water

Celery leaf


Shaken, ice ball filled, whisk to air, garnished.


  1. Sounds a lot of fun. I’d have been rooting for the toothbrush version as well. Sounds like a great idea.

    Nice idea from Tabasco. I like their Chipotle Tabasco in a Bloody Mary but with bourbon instead of vodka.

  2. gastrogeek

    it was great fun! Haven’t tried the chipotle tabasco, sounds like a bit of a storecupboard must have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: