Chase Smoky Mary competition

Words by Simon Difford

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Back in March the folks at the Chase Distillery invited us all to try something new – a Bloody Mary made with their Chase Smoked Vodka. The competition proved that smoked flavours work brilliantly in Bloody Marys.

They received 100s of entries from both bartenders and consumers alike and I recently joined James Chase and David Gerrans, Bar Manager of the Whip in London's Mayfair to judge the Smoky Mary recipes entered by the trade.

The winner

We accessed the Smoky Mary recipes entered for originality, taste and presentation (competitors submitted photographs of their drinks). After a lot of sipping on Bloody Marys and discussion we concluded that the best drink was the Breakfast in Blenheim by Marcus Heale at The Churchill Bar & Terrace, the Hyatt Regency Hotel on London's Portman Square. Marcus' drink is now being served at The Churchill should you want to try it.

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Breakfast in Blenheim
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Crushed Tyrrells salt and cracked black pepper crisp rim, a stick of streaky bacon and a scotch quail egg. Topped with a Williams Chase Apple Gin sauce (reduction of gin and cooking apples sugar and water). Served on a copper tray with eggs, bacon and sausage.

- 100ml Tomato soup and pureed baked bean juice blend
- 50ml Chase Smoked Vodka
- 25ml English Breakfast Bloody Mary spice mix*
*A blend of "Henderson's Relish", Marmite and Colman's English Mustard.

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The prize
Marcus has won a VIP trip to the Chase Distillery and farm, in the heart of the beautiful Herefordshire countryside. He will stay at the Verzon hotel enjoying the hospitality of the Chase family. He'll receive a special 'behind the scenes' tour of the Chase Distillery and see how the award winning Chase gins and vodkas are made. He'll also receive a Jeroboam of Chase Vodka and Williams Elegant Gin worth over £300.

A special mention

We also very much liked the Super Mary by Nick Lewis of London's Be At One.

Super Mary
Glass: Hi-ball
Garnish: Basil leaf and ripe cherry tomatoes
Method: In a shaker stir briefly to loosen up the ingredients. Cubed ice is added and the mixture is 'tumbled' three times between shaker parts. Fine strain the mixture over fresh cubed ice.
- 45ml Chase Smoked Vodka
- 120ml Organic Vegetable Juice*
- 15ml Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 dashes Soy Sauce
- 2 dashes Bitter Truth Celery Bitters
- 3 grinds Black Pepper
- ¼ spoon Garlic Paste
- 1 spoon Wholegrain Mustard
- 2 spoons Sundried Tomato Paste

About Chase Smoked Vodka

Chase Smoked Vodka was the first limited edition ever created by the Chase Distillery, inspired by some particularly fine salmon the Head Distiller tried at a local food fair.

To make it, water is sent from a borehole to a local smoke house (apparently, vodka was tried instead of water but it evaporated!), and this is then blended with 96.6% Chase Vodka.

The guys at Chase say "We're huge fans of this spirit and the way it transforms a Bloody Mary, which is the way we'd absolutely recommend serving it."

Find out more:
Chase Smoked Vodka
Chase Distillery

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