The Curious Cocktailian
Welcome to the first post of my new Bartender On A Budget blogging series! I am very excited about collaborating with Drunk For A Penny. Please check his article out here. Also, I am very grateful to have worked with such a wine wiz!
It is such a treat to check out the new fancy bar that opened up in downtown, especially when you’re served a specialty cocktail that was shaken, and served in a perfectly chilled martini glass. The bartender usually performs his craft with a finesse that you hope to achieve one day.
He or she also uses high-end spirits and liqueurs, and fresh ingredients, with fancy tools, that cost at least an arm, if not a leg. But what about the rest of us that want to mix cocktails at home? Or want to give our refined taste buds a break, without breaking the bank?
Well, friends, let’s set our budget for some easily available ingredients, MacGyver some stuff at home together for our cocktail equipment, and pour it into whatever we want to drink from.
And have a damn good time doing it.
Do you want to mix drinks, but you just don’t have all of the ingredients? Well, I have some drinking hacks for you.
The Bloody Mary on a Budget
Alright, so you don’t have the cash to make yourself an Martini this weekend, and you don’t want to hit a bar to buy one, either. Have no fear – I have you covered.
This week, we’re going to make a fun concoction: The Bloody Mary.
Will it be traditional? No, I am sorry. Each time this is made, it will be completely different as you and I will be using whatever is on hand. Somehow, to me, that enhances the beauty of it.
We’re going to roll a “Makeshift Bloody Mary,” and it’s going to be terrific. Why? Because you’re going to feel like a whiz in the bar, treating yourself, or a friend/significant other, and they are going to hold you with admiration in their eyes.
- Vodka. First, go to a liquor store and look for those quarter-bottles of Vodka, those will be 180ml. If you’re looking for something smaller, try the miniatures. The quarter bottle should give you 4-6 drinks, depending on how strong you want to make them.
Each drink needs about 30ml – just a shot’s worth.
- Tomato juice. For every shot of vodka, you’ll need three shots of this stuff. So 90ml per drink.
~ Mohan V : I’ve found that fresh juice works best, because when I make it, I usually roast the tomatoes over a high open flame, until the skin chars.
Once you blend them together, the whole juice gets this really nice smoky character.Opinion is divided on whether or not to strain the tomato juice (some enjoy the thick consistency), so try it out for yourself both ways. Let us know which way you prefer!
- Salt and pepper. The Spice of life. And if you want to get creative, which I think you do, feel free to experiment with a dash or two of Paprika, or any other spice that you like! A few pinches of chat masala would give it a nice Indian touch as well.
- Flavourings. Typically, we’ll want 2 dashes of tabasco sauce and 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
“But what if I don’t have that, Joe?” Well, hell, let’s throw in some hot sauce in there instead. How about a little garlic chutney? Or a dash of chilli powder? Guys, let’s get really creative with this drink.
- A small lime. Just a singular lime. Cut out a few slices or wheels for garnishing, and squeeze the rest of the juice in.
You don’t need any cocktail equipment whatsoever. All you need is two glasses and some ice. Put your ingredients and some ice into one cup, and gently slide it into the other cup. And then slide that back into the first cup. You’re rolling a cocktail! What fun!
If you want to get a little more ambitious, look around your kitchen for a few tapered glasses. You’ll need them to fit snugly over each other, like this.
Add the ice, put all your ingredients into one glass, stick the other one top of it, and give it a few shakes. Try it slowly at first, then try to build some momentum. Make sure to keep them secure, you don’t want a mess!
Once, you’re done, you’re ready to pour!
Lastly, we’ll need a garnish. Something to complete the drink.
A stick of Celery is classic. Or maybe cut a lemon wheel and stick it on the rim of the drink. Or perhaps, you want to make an island: Put that lemon wheel in the middle of your drink.
~ Mohan V : You could also gently crush and add some fresh basil when rolling or shaking your drink – it’s known to go very well with tomato, and will add some nice herby character to it. You can use the larger, prettier leaves for garnishing as well.
If you do not have either, start experimenting with things that you think would taste and look good. And let us know below!
Now, our drinking vessel. My advice would be to pick any glass you feel comfortable drinking out of, and put it in the freezer before making your drink.
Don’t underestimate a frozen glass – it keeps the drink cool longer, gives a pleasant sensation when sipping, and it looks pretty amazing as well.
Once you’re sure all the ingredients are mixed, bring your strainer back out and pour.
Garnish with whatever you wish – a lime wheel, a stick of celery, a sprig of basil, whatever – and your Bloody Mary is ready.
This article remains incomplete without your involvement – try making one at home, and you’ll realise how easy and delicious home bartending can be! And be the soul of every good party, when people realise you can make some mad drinks!
This article was written by The Curious Cocktailian, with inputs from the Drunk For A Penny team. If you want to write for us as well, send us a message, and we’ll see where it goes from there. 🙂