Bloody Garden Cocktail
Updated: Feb 2
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 a vegetable juice, but clearer and much more refreshing. Anyway, as there is no clamato juice in Australia and not as many options of tomato juices in the Snowys, I just go with V8! As both the Bloody Mary and Caesar classic versions are mixed with vodka, I find the flavours with vegetable juice mix much nicer with dry gin... and 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 of the glass. 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 that are new to the area, now based in Tumbarumba. They are passionate about the botanicals and history of the liquor. They offer tasting experiences, workshops and beautiful "Eliksir" bottles of their own signature along with 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 to fill up that little hole; as the juice is nourishing. I love one once in a while, especially made by my mum as she makes the best classic Bloody Caesar (with clamato juice of course) with a nice crunchy celery to snack on and stir the drink. 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 like 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 nice when you feel like a bloody without alcohol. The next step for making this even better, will be to make my own vegetable juice... To know more about the Bloody Mary or Caesar and the way to garnish the classic drink as a base to make your own version of it, read this previous blog post: Ô Bloody Caesar.
Garden festive garnishes • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021
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