The humble Bloody Mary has undergone an exotic makeover at Moseley’s buzzing wine bar and kitchen Cheval Blanc.
The drink – reputedly first served in 1921 at Ernest Hemingway’s favourite Paris hangout Harry’s New York Bar – has been reinvented by Cheval Blanc’s assistant manager and mixologist Rory Eaton.
Traditionally, Bloody Mary is a soothing but punchy mix of vodka, tomato juice and combinations of other spices and flavourings such as Worcester sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish and celery.
But Rory has created four unique versions – each with a different international slant.
There’s Land of the Free – inspired by the smokehouses and BBQs of the USA and featuring bourbon, siracha, bacon, jalapeños and a secret spice mix.
The Other Side of the Wall is inspired by South American flavours such as cigars and coffee and includes mescal, dried chilli, coriander and other spices.
Rising Sun, Morning Calm draws on Oriental tastes and includes smoked vodka, sake, soy sauce, wasabi, asian spices and nasturtium flowers.
Then we’re back home to Brum with The Snobs Reviver – with Oldbury-produced Langley’s Gin, Kings heath’s Pips Hot Sauce and other locally-sourced ingredients.
Rory explained: “I spent many hours looking through recipes seeing what sorts of flavours matched so we could respect the tradition of the Bloody Mary but offer customers something unique.
“For instance, with the Asian version we use soy rather than Worcester Sauce and wasabi rather than Tabasco and it creates an incredible harmonious flavour.
“We were determined to create drinks that were complex rather than one-dimensional and we’ve done that.”
He’s in no doubt that new Bloody Marys will prove especially popular for long lingering brunches.
“Let’s face it – Bloody Marys feel almost healthy to drink and are a fantastic way to revive yourself after a late night,” he added.
All are available at £9 and are freshly mixed for customers.
145 Alcester Rd, Birmingham B13 8JP. 0121 449 6344.
I work as a freelance consultant with Cheval Blanc.