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Spicy Bloody Mary

I think I had to reach a certain age before I could enjoy a  Bloody Mary. Despite tomatoes being one of my very favourite foods, drinking cold ones took a while to get my head around. 


But it’s now a firm favourite, particularly perfect following an autumnal Sunday stroll. This is my quick & spicy recipe.


Spiced Vodka

The secret to my Spicy Bloody Mary is all in the vodka. Mine is based on Nigella’s brilliant Winter-spiced vodka from Nigella Christmas.


It needs a good few weeks to develop and the longer you leave it the more of a kick it will have. If you make a bottle and then leave the spices in you can keep it topped up with vodka as you use it.


  • 1 glass resealable bottle. A Kilner type 500ml sloe gin bottle is ideal

  • 1 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds

  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised 

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 or more dried chillies, depending on your spice preference!

  • Vodka to fill bottle


Sterilise your bottle in the dishwasher or oven and leave to cool. 


Add all of your spices to the bottle and top up with vodka. Keep in a dark place and give it the occasional light shake to mix it up. 


Give it a few weeks and it's ready to go. It makes a lovely present for a fellow fan of a Bloody Mary as it goes a beautiful colour and the spices and chilli look great. 


Don’t shake before use, you want to avoid pouring any spices directly into your drink so use a strainer if necessary.

The Recipe

Once your spiced vodka is ready it's a simple matter of assembly.


  • Chilled Big Tom tomato juice - I always choose this one for it's extra kick! 

  • 30ml of spiced vodka - or your usual preferred serve

  • Celery salt

  • Celery

  • High ball or glass of your choosing


Take one glass, add ice if you like it particularly chilled, then add your spiced vodka and tomato juice. Give it a good stir.


When it comes to garnishes I think you can't beat a piece of celery, ideally with a nice leafy top and a dash of celery salt. But it can be served with all sorts, olives, pickles. a slice of bacon, prawns. You name it!


Given that I do enjoy an edible flower a nasturtium would be my top choice for adornment here.


It’s as easy as that!


History of the Bloody Mary

My aunt was recently visiting and whilst I was enjoying a Bloody Mary at the Orford Jolly Sailor, she was telling me that her son had been learning about the history of Bloody Mary. As someone who has little experience in the art of child rearing, I had been listening along under the impression that he had been learning all about the history of the cocktail. I hadn’t considered there was anything even mildly out of the ordinary about such a thing when it was pointed out his studies were in fact about a queen.


Whilst ten year old children it turns out aren’t learning about the history of cocktails, I thought I’d better find out more. 



According to Wikipedia, there’s quite a few claims to it’s invention, with a French bartender (of course) the earliest mention in 1921, created in the spur of the moment at the New York Bar in Paris. A bar later frequented by the likes of Ernest Hemingway. Well thats good enough for me!


It is also considered a particularly good hangover drink. 



Chloé X
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