Bloody Garden Cocktail
Updated: Feb 27
A twisted version of a Bloody Mary cocktail with gin, bush spices and festive garden garnishes.
As promised, here's my Aussie (and gardener) version of a Bloody! A Bloody Mary cocktail is generally made with tomato juice, and the Bloody Caesar, the Canadian version, with clamato juice. No one here in Australia would be keen to taste this one because of this “bloody” clam juice, but what most don’t know, is that it tastes like vegetable juice, but clearer and much more refreshing. Anyway, as there is no clamato juice in Australia, I just go with V8! The Bloody Mary and Caesar classic versions are mixed with vodka, but I find the flavours more interesting with dry gin... The good news is that we can now find locally-made gin in Tumbarumba!* Some will call the gin version a Red Snapper but my point is that I’m trying to make an Aussie and local version of my bloody cocktail… so let’s keep it Bloody. Like any classic Bloody Mary or Caesar, I garnished the glass with lemon, celery stalk and some celery salt rubbed on the rim. I make my own celery salt from my backyard plants each year to sell in local markets or shops. To warm and twist up the flavours of the mix to substitute the usual Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, I sprinkle some Australian indigenous pepper berry and bush tomato spices. And that-is-the-best-bloody-drink-I-ever-had-without-clamato-juice!
*LOCAL FEATURE: Ladbroken Distilling Co. are gin makers based in Tumbarumba. They are passionate about botanicals and the history of the gin. They offer tasting experiences, workshops, beautiful "Eliksir" bottles of their signature, and special editions infused with seasonal produce.
Bloody with gin, celery salt and bush spices • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021
No matter what version, flavour, juice or liquor you are using, a fun thing you can do with a bloody is to create a garnish. This cocktail is basically an appetiser that is appreciated before dinner as the juice is nourishing and savoury. A popular garnish served in some resto-bars is called the "surf-n-turf" and consists of a slice of bacon and a prawn (aka shrimp). There are many crazy versions out there if you "google" it. Some skewers with fried chicken, burger, pizza and bagels are a bit over the top, but funny. In continuing the different themes, my festive version suggested here is a "country-life garden party", using freshness from the garden like rosemary, parsley (in flower), celery (in flower), cucumber and organic lemons. Adding some local olives, bacon and cheese if you are more peckish is also permitted! You can make these cocktails "virgin", which is also lovely when you feel like a bloody without alcohol. To know more about the Bloody Mary or Caesar, read: Ô Bloody Caesar.
Garden festive garnishes • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021
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