The Larder House hosted the 2015 Dorset's Best Bloody Mary competition on Sunday 27 September. They had the actual main competition for those in the trade, another competition for the Bournemouth Bartenders League and a side event for members of the public like me.

(Just for clarification before you get in too deep that is article is about the public event and not the winner of the real competition, which was Dave Hall representing Urban Beach Hotel.)

I never really drank Bloody Marys until I started going to the Larder House. I tried at other places but generally spat them out as they were just warm alcoholic tomato juice. Well James the owner tagged my name on a Facebook post about the event and so I took up the challenge.

Having been sat on the other side of the bar as it were, I've watched the guys enthusiasm when it comes to what they do, how they present it and the story behind it all. At the very least I've got to give it a good effort and it all started with the story. This is all going to sound like nonsense but bear with my own self-indulgence. I wanted to capture elements of my life and I guess the family's journey from East to West. OK, put those sick bags away.

So, all that gave me the idea of trying to serve the Bloody Mary like a Bubble Tea. I wanted the big plastic cup, full of ice, with the drink, flavoured bubbles in it and a large straw poking out the lid. I wanted it to be wacky, but hopefully not too wacky with a silent N.

At first, that was how I wanted to serve it, just plain and simple but some chance conversation with Chef Ricky over at the Wight Bear mid-week where he mentioned about doing a serve with a Reuben sandwich meant I thought, whoa hold on there, I need to up my game. As my parents have been in the catering trade since moving to the UK, I knew I had to serve it like a takeaway delivery, and I had to cook something, something special.In the end I made something that had a tie-in with the ingredients for the drink.

So, for the drink obviously I was going to put an Asian spin on things but seeing as I was born in Scotland I was going to cut the drink with a dash of whisky and seeing as we live in Dorset, then Dorsetshire Sauce had to be used! For the heat I needed to try Sichuan peppercorns with its numbing heat, which would linger on the lips more and hopefully get people wondering what it was.

The Larder House Bloody Mary uses crab stock as part of its ingredients, which gave me the idea of going savoury but I would use some dried scallops and little fishies that my mum gave me. I dug those little beasties out, ground them in a mortar along with the Sichuan peppercorns and black pepper and poured on two measures of vodka to infuse. Having eaten at Little Asia many times I know how hot those little things can be and in the end I might have held back on the heat just in case it was too much, when I could have ramped it up a lot more for the effect. I would still have the dashes of Tabasco as that is more the tongue heat rather than lips.

Just look at the eyes on those fish!

Dorsetshire sauce was a given, but how was I going to beef up the umami savoury side of things? That would be the soy sauce and some fish sauce then.

Next was the citrus element where I went for some yuzu juice, some Japanese satsuma looking fruit, something Japanese as I have been doing karate since a kid. In the end it wasn't sharp enough so I added lemon juice back in.

I had a little tasting session and invited Mei (@laflafster) across. She brought some ingredients for ideas and I took on board a couple of pinches of pomegranate powder and celery salt. It was good to know that Sue Quinn was on the judging panel, a bit of help won't go amiss.

Not forgetting the main body of the drink, which was the Waitrose sweet and savoury tomato juice. This was all cut with a dash of Dalwhinnie 15 years old whisky. I thought about trying a peaty number but didn't get round to it. I can still carry on experimenting at home can't I.

The final touch to ludicrous drink was the addition of some bubbles for the bubble tea effect. To show how much I had been thinking about things I even bought a spherification kit. Such an idiot with grand ideas. I didn't have time to try it so I got some ready made and there is a company in Poole called the Bubble Tea House Company that very kindled gave me some samples along with plastic cups and straws. I tried the lemon/lime ones but opted for the mango ones seeing as my company is called e-mango.

So next was what to make to accompany the drink. Using the dried scallops and fishies made me think of making a steamed rice parcel wrapped in a lotus leaf - basically what is known as a "lo mai gai" so I added chicken in as well as good quality dried Chinese mushrooms from my mum. The secret to the steamed parcel is that the cooked glutinous rice is generously seasoned and that by steaming it the lotus leaf imparts its own fragrance but into the rice but also when you serve it. Heck, I even marinated the chicken in Palo Cortado sherry, not just normal sherry, just to up the ante before stir frying it up with the scallops, fishies and Chinese mushrooms with garlic. Adding oyster sauce and soy sauce helped to make a little sauce that would also seep into the rice.

Lotus leaf base, layer of the rice, the filling and then more rice on top. Wrap it up. Done.

The final step was to sort out the overall presentation, which was basically delivering a Chinese takeaway! I even resorted to buying a couple of foil containers with lids and bubble tea cups with straws from Little Asia.

I wrote the delivery address onto the white carry bag. I put the steamed rice parcel inside the foil container and wrote "#4 Special Blardy House Mary" on the lid. There was even a piece of cardboard cut out to sit on top of the container for the drink to rest on so it doesn't crush the lid, proper flipping authentic! The relevance of the number 4, well that is the number of the restaurant.

Come 5pm, it was time to hand our drinks over for the public mini-competition. Judging by the look on Joel's face below I don't think people knew what to make of it. That was part of the plan, tick. James Goldin from the Pig Hotel is equally bemused.

It came down to a draw between mine and Chef Ricky's drink and James had to call on Harry King, who used to work up in the Library, to cast the deciding vote. Harry checking my serve out.

Harry checking Chef Ricky's.

I won! OK, there were only a few entrants but I'll take the win any day, and especially as there was £150 worth of Larder House vouchers.

It's been a fun few weeks thinking about it and finally doing it.

If you have made it to the end of this self-indulgent homage to the Larder House, then thank you and well done. I will see you up in the bar. Make sure to say hi.

And if you want to see my notes for the recipe, then here you go..... Just don't tell anyone OK. All ingredients available in all good supermarkets, but good look hunting down those little dried scallops and fishies.

I did it again in the 2016 Bloody Mary competition, but that's because I was the only public entrant - ha ha.