One of the key differences between the English and the Americans (besides the teeth) is the alcohol consumption.
63% of American adults drink vs 90% of English adults.
There is also a big difference in the way people approach alcohol. Most Americans I know do drink a bit …. but only in the evenings and in moderation. Having gotten drunk is a cause for comment.
The loveable English, on the other hand, consider every ‘event’ cause for adult themed celebrations.
Friday lunchtime! The start of summer! The depression of winter! Finishing a country walk! A christening! A wedding!
(Because really, what is a wedding, if not a pissup where you get to choose all the guests…)
Even breakfast time has it’s own special drink. Which brings us neatly to the Bloody Mary. Or, as I am illustrating it, the Bloody Maria.
Now, it’s hard to paint any cocktail as being a must-have on the nutritional front. Truth is (from a health perspective) you are nearly always better off giving the spirits a miss …..
But sometimes you aren’t coming at life from a health perspective, are you? Sometimes you just want to channel your inner girl party hosting, stripey top and big sunglass wearing, total sex and the city wanna-be, cocktail drinking self.
And luckily - since I just admitted I’m a health-nut who is partial the occasional booze up at breakfast - the Bloody Maria has considerably more going for it that most cocktails … Plus, (most importantly of all) it’s one of the only cocktails where it’s actually easy to stop at one.
Firstly; Tomato juice (sorry – the tomatoes above are not actually included in the recipe, they’re so much prettier than tomato juice…)
Tomato juice = vitamin C. Vitamin C helps you to meet your quota and helps you to absorb more iron, particularly iron from vegetable sources. It might not be the healthiest thing I eat all week but I LOVE having my weekend Bloody Maria with poached egg, spinach and Hollandaise sauce (Eggs Flortentine) … and it’s nice to know I am getting at least some nutritional benefit from doing so.
(More than if I was drinking my beloved wine anyhow)
Tomato juice is also filled with lypocene, a strong anti-oxidant that can help to fight cancers of all kind. And horseradish is in the same category as garlic; one of those power herbs that seems do everything from function as anti-microbal, to stimulating the immune system. Aaaaand if you make your Bloody Maria spicy (which you must) you may also be raising your metabolism a tiny bit, just by virtue of eating spice.
(Which, of course, cancels out the Hollandaise sauce)
Plus, note that celery stick hanging out in your drink? Not exactly a serving, but you have to buy a whole celery just to get that stick. Therefore making it likely you’ll overdo it with an indulgent brunch and just have crudite with hummus for dinner.
Personally, I’m always up for starting on the hot sauce at the earliest possible opportunity.
I did tell you about the Tabasco.
The Perfect Bloody Maria
Traditionally made with vodka I actually prefer this tequila infused version; known as the Bloody Maria. I’m also (will miracles never cease) genuinely partial to the occasional Virgin Maria. It’s a delicious way to get exclusively the benefits of the drink. Something about spicy tomato juice just pairs perfectly with any savoury breakfast – from eggs and smoked salmon, to sausages to bacon. It even seems to compliment fruit salad!
- 1 shot of Tequila (or two if you are feeling very frisky!)
- Chilled Tomato Juice. In the UK, Eager make the best brand!
- 1/4 teaspoon of horseradish
- dash of Worcester sauce
- dash of Tabasco
- pinch of smoked paprika
- pinch of chili powder
- celery stick. To serve as both garnish and a straw!
- pinch of garlic powder
- splash of sherry
- Pour Tequila (and sherry, if using) over a glass full of ice, and then add a splash of tomato juice.
- Add all additions, give a good stir and then garnish with a celery and an extra pinch of smoked paprika. Be sure to serve with a good jug of water and have some fresh coffee or tea on the go for later!
Nutrition: Calories 135, Protein 1g, Fat 0g, Carbohydrates 7g
Nutritional Highlights: Vitamin A 24%, Vitamin c 59%. Rich in lycopene, which is increasingly associated with reduced risk of cancer, particularly prostate.