A signature Bloody Mary cocktail is a must for any great restaurant or bar. Executive Chef Robert Aikens, of New York City’s The Peacock, can now boast his restaurant has the best in America. Aikens will pocket $2,000.
The Most Magnificent Mary Contest, sponsored by Sacramento Tomato Juice and supported by Finlandia Vodka, stirred top restaurants and bars from across the nation to enter their best recipe.
“We were impressed by the creativity of the recipes and the caliber of the contestants,” says Rich Meyers, national sales manager of Red Gold, LLC, the makers of Sacramento Tomato Juice.
Finlandia Vodka’s Global Mixologist Pekka Pellinen, who judged the entries, added, “I was blown away by the quality of the drinks. Congratulations to all of our entrants.”
Aikens’ entry called on the flavor of cucumber, lemon, Worcestershire and Old Bay Seasoning, combined with Sacramento Tomato Juice and Finlandia Vodka, for his first place Bloody Mary.
“The freshness from the cucumber and lemon gives this Bloody Mary an excellent taste. The balance from the Worcestershire sauce and the spice from Old Bay make it very distinctive. The elements of this cocktail combine to make it a classic with a very good twist,” says Pellinen.
Aikens is the executive chef of both The Peacock and The Shakespeare, British-inspired sister restaurants located at The William, a boutique hotel in Murray Hill.
“We use Sacramento Tomato Juice at our bar and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to showcase my idea for a perfect Bloody Mary,” says Aikens. “My secret was the combination of a cucumber with Sacramento Tomato Juice, Finlandia Vodka and Old Bay seasoning. I boosted the tomato flavor even more by adding some Redpack Tomato Paste. This recipe is so good, we intend to add it to our bar menu.”
Other finalists in the contest include: Richard Schlossbach, Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park, NJ; Adam Seger, Mixologist, Ipic Entertainment, Chicago, IL; Steven Hill, Bartender at Le Midi, New York, NY; Nick Manousos, Owner, Throwbacks Bar & Grill, Delran, NJ; Michael Zebrowski, Chef Instructor at the International Culinary Center, Brooklyn, NY; Patricia Gaja, The Phunky Elephant, Staten Island, NY; and Bob Murdock, Mixologist at the Blue Cat Brew Pub in Rock Island, IL.
The Most Magnificent Bloody Mary Recipe
Chef Robert Aikens, The Peacock, New York, NY
Sacramento Tomato Juice – 100 ounces (12.5 cups)
Finlandia Vodka – 34 ounces (4.25 cups)
Cucumber, peeled and deseeded – 1 each
Tabasco – 2T+2t
Redpack Tomato Paste – 6T
Worcestershire sauce – 12T
Lemon juice – 13.5 ounces
Freshly ground black pepper – 2t
Celery salt – 2T
Old Bay seasoning – 2T+2t
Creamed horseradish – ½ cup
Fresh grated horseradish – 3T
Place the cucumber and tomato paste in a blender and puree with 4 cups of the tomato juice till smooth, then pour into a bowl and whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with a celery stick and ¼ pickle wedge on a pick spike with olives, cherry tomato and a lemon slice.