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Horseradish Bloody Mary's

We start every year with a great big lunch with friends, some of whom may require a pick me up after the night before. What better excuse to make some horseradish spiked vodka! Not for the faint-hearted mind and you can of course use any good-quality vodka.

Blood Mary – serves 8 – 10 

  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tsp Tabasco
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp celery salt, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to serve
  • 350ml horseradish vodka (see below) or any good vodka, chilled
  • about 1 litre good-quality tomato juice, chilled
  • sticks of leafy celery, to serve
  • thyme sprigs, to serve

FOR THE HORSERADISH VODKA:

  • 1 horseradish root
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 litre good-quality vodka

To make the horseradish vodka: Peel the horseradish root and slice into long thin pieces. Put the horseradish and thyme into a clean 1 litre glass bottle. Combine the honey with a splash of vodka in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Pour this into the bottle with the horseradish and thyme, then top up with the remaining vodka. Leave in a dark place to infuse for 3-5 days. When ready, pass the vodka through a sieve and throw away the horseradish (or make sauce!) and thyme. Return the vodka to the bottle and seal. It will keep for a long time.

To make the Bloody Mary, whisk the smoked paprika, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, celery salt and black pepper together in a large, wide jug. Pour over the vodka and tomato juice and stir well.

Divide the Bloody Mary between glasses, then garnish each with a celery stick, a sprig of thyme, a pinch of celery salt and a twist of black pepper. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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