|spicy curry mary|
The classic Bloody Mary is avowed by many to be the perfect restorative. And frankly when I am feeling a little jaded from the previous night's excesses (a rare occasion, she says virtuously) I am not necessarily feeling robust enough to eat a meal, but I might be brave enough to feebly swallow a medicinal, liquid cure. (Only might, I hasten to add!)
My Curry Mary came about when I realised I didn't have any tomato juice to make a Bloody Mary. I did have some fresh tomatoes and thought that if I was going to tinker with the classic then I might has well go the whole spice rack. I think this version, full of warming curry spices and a chilli kick is enough to cure all ills, and keep you warm (and full) on any wintery day.
Skill level: Easy
spiced sugar syrup
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp green cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
a piece of mace, crumbled
300ml vodka (or a flavoured vodka such as chilli or citrus), but adjust seasonings to taste)
several slugs of dry sherry (or port)
Tabasco, to taste
400g cherry or baby plum tomatoes, plus extra to serve
juice of 2-3 limes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or more to taste)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to the boil. Add spices and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Set aside to infuse and cool. Strain.
- Blend the cherry tomatoes together (with a splash of water), then sieve out the pips. Pour into a large pitcher, adding 2 tbsp spiced sugar syrup, vodka, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, several glugs of sherry and several dashes of Tabasco. Check the seasoning. Add more sugar syrup, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and lime juice if necessary.
- This is a very forgiving drink - you can give it an indolent stir or a vigorous shake; a very forgiving drink. Allow to stand to let the flavours develop. Stir before pouring into glasses dipped in curry spice. Serve garnished with cherry tomatoes.