At almost any bar counter, to get a decent Bloody Mary it is best to order vodka and tomato juice separately, thus preventing the bartender from turning this delicious, classic drink into some vile-tasting concoction resembling barbecue sauce.
It also seems like the chief aim of most Bloody Mary recipes is to eradicate the flavour of tomato, most successfully achieved in the many ready-made drink mixes, one of the worst examples being the "Mr & Mrs T Bloody Mary Mix".
To make your own Bloody Mary, it is most important to use top-quality, natural tomato juice without any additives and not mask its taste with a load of spices. The spices can be omitted altogether, if you like, like in the original Bloody Mary recipe.
The original recipe uses equal quantities of vodka and juice, but I like my drink to be less potent.
4 cl Stolichnaya, Russian Standard, Belvedere or Finlandia vodka, or other top-quality Russian, Polish or Finnish vodka
about 10 - 14 cl natural tomato juice of top quality
a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice
a couple of drops of Tabasco sauce
pinch of freshly powdered black pepper
(tiny pinch of salt)
(pinch of celery salt)
fresh and crisp, small, thin and leafy celery stalk
a couple of ice cubes
Thoroughly chill the tomato juice and the vodka beforehand in the refrigerator. Rinse the celery stalk to remove any dirt. Measure the vodka and the juice in a mixing glass, add a squirt of lemon juice and some spices to taste and stir thoroughly.
Pour the mixture in a tall glass over ice cubes and garnish with the lemon slice and the celery stalk (no need to use "half a forest" as I have done in the photo above...). Serve immediately, with a drinking straw, if preferred.
Recipe source: adapted from traditional recipe.