The hospitality industry was buzzing last week with the results of the annual Tabasco® British Bloody Mary Challenge. The final took place on 7th January and it was certainly screaming girl power.
The event – now in its fifth year – highlights the ever-increasing popularity of the humble Bloody Mary and brings together industry opinion leaders and influencers, media, food critics and chefs to watch the UK’s top mixologists compete for the titles of Best ‘Classic’ Bloody Mary and Best ‘Alternative’ Bloody Mary in Britain.
This year’s competition saw the panel of judges; editor of Pub & Bar magazine Tristan O’Hana, food writer Charles Campion, founder of MEATliquor Scott Collins and Executive Bar Manager of The Social Company Gareth Evans, take their seats at The Blind Pig, Social Eating House, Soho – stirring up a crowd as they sized up an impressive array of Bloody Mary creations.
Eleven hopefuls travelled to London from across the UK to compete, armed with a wealth of interesting ingredients and equipment. With ‘Cajun Ketchup’, ‘Bloody Sunday Mary Roast’ and ‘Tied up Mary’ just a few of the entries in the mix, choosing the winners was a tough decision for all involved – but this year saw an all-female victory for the first time in the event’s history.
The ‘Classic’ round belonged to Kaiko Tulloch from Edinburgh’s Lucky Liquor Company, who came out on top with her perfectly balanced Bloody Mary – with a well-judged spike of Tabasco® Pepper Sauce.
India Blanch from Call Me Mr Lucky (Breakfast Club, London Bridge) took the ‘Alternative’ round by storm, teaming watercress-infused Ilegal Mezcal, grapefruit and pomegranate juice with black and pink peppercorns and two different varieties of Tabasco® Pepper Sauce to create the ‘Bloody Criminal’.
The judges remarked on the ever-increasing level of creativity and mix of flavours on display. The two winners – Tulloch and Blanch – will hold the British title for the next year and will be spending three days in New Orleans next summer for the world’s biggest craft cocktail event, Tales of the Cocktail.
Congratulations Kaiko and India!