Freaky Mary

Hey folks, do you remember East Coast Chilli Co.‘s Chance? I did and I decided I needed another bottle of that creamy, roasted garlic deliciousness. So I went back to them.

I grabbed a bottle of their Reason – Their naga sauce – a little over a month ago. And I grabbed some more of my old favourites, along with.

When I cracked the seal on that new bottle, however, it wasn’t quite how I remembered. It was close but the worcestershire sauce was just a little bit more prominent. And that gave me the idea for today’s cocktail recipe.

A freaky, garlicky twist on a tomato-based classic. Click on through for the details, if you’re old enough to drink.

To make today’s bloody mary, you will need:

2 celery sticks

200ml tomato juice

25ml East Coast Chilli Co. Chance sauce

25ml vodka (any decent brand)

Black Pepper (to taste)

And a cocktail shaker to prepare them all in.

But we’re not actually going to use any of those right away. Instead, we’re going to start by picking out a nice, three hundred millilitre (or thereabouts) glass and popping it in the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes. Because it’s the quickest, easiest and most effective way that I’ve found to chill your drinkware. And a cold glass goes a long way to making a cold and refreshing beverage.

Once it’s almost ready to come out, then you’re ready to get to work on the recipe proper. Of which the first step is to finely dice one of your two celery sticks, for infusing.

Cut ’em nice and fine, as shown above, then pop the lot into your cocktail shaker and set it aside for a moment, while you retrieve you freshly-chilled glass.

Measure out your twenty-five mil of gorgeously garlicky hot sauce, in order to get it freshly chillied, as well, and quickly follow up with the vodka. Using the high proof alcohol to wash any lingering Chance from your measuring utensil and into that serving glass.

For those who aren’t aware, this particular measure is a standardised UK shot size and it’s just shy of two tablespoons. So, whether you have all the cocktail accoutrements or just the standard kitchen utensils, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding something which fits the bill. And the same goes for the vodka, itself, really.

I’m using Black Cow’s 100% milk variety, which is a somewhat premium, novelty vodka, yet almost any sort will do. Vodka is not a flavourful drink, like rum, whiskey or wine, and paying more usually just means paying for more of the natural solvent flavour to be filtered out. So anything above the bare minimum supermarket own brand should prove nigh undetectable in today’s punchy cocktail.

Though, as I talked about in an early Cornish Chilli Co. review, it may bring out elements of the tomatoes that would otherwise go amiss. It’s hard for me to say, since the science checks out but I very rarely drink tomato juice on its own. And, of course, I won’t be doing so today.

Instead, it’s time to add it to our shaker and mush down all of those celery chunks. Then shake, shake, shake and strain it all back out, into the main glass.

Because, let’s be real, you don’t want those pieces in your finished drink. You want it nice and smooth, to make the most of that creamy Chance. All that you want from the celery is that hint of green, to help balance out the subtly sweet edge of the sauce and our tomato juice.

So, once you’ve strained all of that juice back out, give the glass a quick stir, to combine the lot, and top it all off with a few cracks of a pepper mill. Using your second celery stick just for garnish.

Then it’s ready to serve:

Rich, savoury, cooked tomato and near-caramelised, browned garlic dominate its flavour, with a slight, yet highly surprising, fruity undertone from the ECC’s habs. The aromatic peppercorns lighten it just a little but it’s still a particularly indulgent and umami-heavy take on the drink. Far better for sipping than for knocking straight back.

Especially as it packs a high medium

heat that can really build, if overdone. Burning around the sides of my mouth and working its way back as I swallow. All the while lingering right in front of my cheeks with that typical habanero sting, as well.

It does lack the acidity of a typical bloody mary but I do not find that the lemon or lime, which many recipes call for, play well with mine. So, personally, I’m perfectly happy to just cut the citrus out and enjoy the rest of the drink. But, if the acidity is something that you’ll miss, you could always try adding a little of the East Coast Chilli Co.‘s Reason, as well.

I’m sure it’ll be right at home in this savoury delight.

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