I still remember my first Bloody Mary. I wasn't impressed as this is my usual attitude when it comes to anything that has vodka as a main ingredient, but I was relatively intrigued by the combination. Maybe at the time I was working with too many people coping with various alcohol additictions, and vodka was always on the table and combined with everything - especially wine and beer - and therefore, anyone pouring it to tomato sauce was immediately labeled.
The Bloody Mary by Brian Bartels makes justice to this drink, especially among skeptical snobbish people like me. Based on the author's direct experience as bartender, whose first cocktail he learned to prepare was the Mary, the book offers an extensive biography of the drink, starting with its controversial history and a long list of recipes and ingredients that can be matched. 'Cocktail fashions come and go, but the nourishing charm of a Bloody Mary endures' and the presence of this drink in the respectable menus of famous restaurants and bars from all over the world proves this. As a cocktail that 'commands patience', it offers a very large spectrum of combination for the ingredients. The basic remains always: tomato juice, vodka, spices and seasonings. The adds are: Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, celery, salt and...everything else you think it could match. One of my favorite recipes is called umami mary and has miso instead of Worcestershire and using shiitake infused vodka.
Besides the beautiful and mouth watering pictures, the book is written in a personal and joyous style which keeps you curious and entertained for just another unique recipe or some stories shared from the exclusive world of bartenders.
A good reading recommendation for any foodie, even though you were, as I was, skeptical and unfriendly to the idea of the Bloody Mary. After all, smart people keep always changing.
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review