With tongue firmly in cheek I could say that my 2015 Bloody Mary game was so strong that it scared people off from this year's Public competition, held at the Larder House on Sunday 25th September. A shame really but hey, I did the prep and I turned up on the day so I'm not going to turn away a litre bottle of Ketel One vodka, the limited edition 325th anniversary bottle, plus a copper kettle. Ketel one, kettle won!

As they say, you've go to be in it to win it.

Anyway, for anyone interested I will give a run down of what I did...

Instead of taking a twist on every element and then some, I though I would concentrate on the tomatoes and what to cut it with. The 2015 recipe had a nod to my family's history by the choice various ingredients, but this year I took that a little further and incorporated ingredients made by both my mum and father-in-law!

It's a Bloody Family Affair, Mary - that's what I called it.

So, for the tomatoes I sliced across into halves and to pull out more of the umami side of the drink, I spread a touch of fermented miso paste, a sprinkle of shichimi toragashi (a Japanese 7 spice mixture) and for the heat I drizzled my mum's homemade chilli XO sauce/oil. Proper flavours of dried scallops, dried shrimps, garlic, shallots and so on going on in there.

Once roasted, then hand blended to go into a 50/50 mix with normal tomato just as I also needed the acidity or raw tomatoes.

Making up the drink was very much the standards as in 3:2 ratio of tomato to vodka, Dorsetshire sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice, celery salt and pepper but I also added a touch of raspberry balsamic vinegar and lime juice, and then finally cutting it with father-in-law's rice wine.

It had a nice long spice finish to it. A bit "soupy" if I say so myself, so it needed a glass full with ice, and stir for some dilution.

Overall I was happy with it. Not as fancy as any of the pro competitors


My 2015 Bloody Mary recipe