Saturday, July 31, 2021

Giving celery a reason to exist

As South Kensington restaurant La Brasserie offers lessons in Bloody Mary making, we explore the history of this hair-of-the-dog drink

 

Someone once said: “If you want to drink all day, you better start early” and what better way to get yourself into this school of thought than attending a Bloody Mary Masterclass by bartending legend Alejandro Flores at La Brasserie in South Kensington?

 

Bloody Mary celery
La Brasserie’s Bloody Mary Masterclass includes breakfast and a lesson in making this hair-of-the-dog cocktail

Priced at just £10 per person and including breakfast, a drinks making lesson and the beverage itself, this cocktail class is now held weekly on Saturday mornings from 10am until 12 noon.

 

The origins of this popular hair-of-the-dog drink are much disputed and though it has been described as “the world’s most complex cocktail” by a New Jersey flavour analyst named Dr Neil Da Costa, it is actually a perfectly straightforward drink. It is commonly thought the Bloody Mary was named after Queen Mary I but it turns out that it might actually have given its moniker in honour of either the actress Mary Pickford or a waitress at a Chicago pub named The Bucket of Blood.

 

Described also as the only drink that “gives celery a reason to exist” by Thrillist’s David Blend, those who attend Alex Flores’ class will become experts in Bloody Mary making. We can’t think of a better trick to have up your sleeve to impress your guests on Christmas morning at 7am.

 

To book to attend La Brasserie’s Bloody Mary Masterclass (held at 272 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2AW) this coming Saturday call +44 (0) 20 7581 3089.

 

 

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    6 COMMENTS

    1. 1. I loathe celery in Bloody Mary and will only use celery salt.
      2. My recipe for it, which has stood the test of time, was given to me by the wonderful barman of the Pitt Club in Cambridge University in about 1970 odd. He always set aside a large jug of it for my breakfast.
      3. The recipe includes copious quantities of freshly squeezed lemon juice (never lime) – usually about six lemons, buckets of Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, a dash or three of Angostura bitters, a large dollop of a good dry sherry all put into a good plain tomato juice with lots of freshly ground black pepper. The best results are if that lot is steeped overnight in a very large jug in the fridge – the need always includes quantity as well as quality.
      4. Quite frankly, the quality of the vodka used is fairly irrelevant as long as it is 70° proof or above and plain – i.e. not full of some ghastly ersatz flavouring – and it is in large enough quantities.
      5. It should always be shaken on ice but never put ice in it, which is revolting in my opinion.
      6. Glasses should be tall and a goodly size, NOT the thimble sized trinkets shown in your photo and WITHOUT anything that will interfere with the passage to your mouth – e.g. lemon slices or celery stalks or other adornment – even less a straw or a twee umbrella.
      7. Refills required regularly.

      IT’S NOT KNOWN AS “ALCOHOLICS’ MILK” FOR NOTHING …

    2. Spoonilal Muckerjee was a barman in a nightclub in Margate, he was unable to perform any showy tricks and had no charisma. I doubt he knew what a Bloody Mary was, he thought it was connected to the St. Valenstine massacre, he knew the functions of a screwdriver, he was able to deliver a plain brandy and coke. Don’t be fooled by his name, he was a pukka englisman. La Brasserie sounds like a swell joint, I must give it a try.

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