London's best Bloody Marys

Date:03-01-2014 08:58:31 read:4

London's best Bloody Marys

Suffering a post New Year's Eve hangover? Head for a reviving Bloody Mary at one of these fine London establishments

Bracing: Bloody Marys at The Gilbert Scott bar 

The Bloody Mary is somewhere between a tonic and a slap in the chops. It is not an elegant drink. Its purpose is to keep those sitting from swaying and stop the wretched from wretching. The best are fiery ruby tinctures; the worst like choking on pasta sauce. Here are five of London's greatest:

The Gillbert Scott at King's Cross is part of the St Regis group, and so it is as close as a Londoner can get to the original 'Red Snapper', invented by St Regis New York bartender Fernand Petiot in 1934. It's a bracing, well-balanced effort made with dehydrated celery, Worcester sauce and a horseradish spice mix that prickles the insides of your cheeks. £10.50. The incurably masochistic can swap this for a Tequila Maria. Served in a goblet with a salted rim and laced with dehydrated cucumber, it is as close to drinking a Horcrux as UK licensing laws currently allow.

At the Quality Chop House, a trendy butcher's in Farringdon that dresses its window with fleshy hunks and husks of beast, they embrace the primal efficacy of simple ingredients. Their Bloody Mary is served in a fist-sized cut glass tumbler with enough liquor to slay a pony and finished with a carmine slug of wine. It's like a kick in the face and it's fantastic. £7.

Powder Keg Diplomacy in Clapham have a Bloody Mary of sorts that makes use of house-cured maple bacon infused vodka, lemon and clam broth. Garnished with a strip of crispy bacon, the £8 Bloody Caesar is of course an abomination, but it is also brimming with all the things a tearfully hungover soul may be found softly pleading for.

At One Leicester Street, Soho, sweat, blood and tears go into a £16 Bloody Mary. Tomato juice is clarified and drip filtered through agar. Black pudding is steeped in vodka for hours and the potent liquor strained out. Two shots of pigs blood are added per litre. This effortlessly butch drink is then decanted into a delicate cocktail glass and served with an atomiser containing a hydrosol spice mix that you spritz over the surface. The resulting drink is sweet, mellow and slightly cloudy with meaty undertones.

The £16 bloody mary at One Leicester Street

At the Newman Street Tavern in Soho, the restless drinker can choose from a menu of eight Bloody Marys, including those made with clam juice, beef bouillon and whisky and sherry. All are accomplished and around the £7-8 mark. Just as importantly, however, the country pub surroundings go a long way to fostering the soothing illusion that you are in fact deep in rustling woodland, a hundred miles from the city din, and the terrible retribution of that one last drink.

READ: The science of a perfect Bloody Mary

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