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Nov 2, 2008 10:30 AM

Any ideas for an Asian-equivalent of a Bloody Mary?

We rarely have Bloody Mary's at home or out but decided that sounded good this morning. (First day off DST and rainy here in Oregon) While rummaging through the fridge for all that we might want to put in them, I jokingly said "guess we don't want soy sauce or sesame oil, huh?" Which got me to thinking: is there some kind of Bloody Mary equivalent. Not an Asian liquor, wine or beer but a usual staple in the bar that could be flavored in an unusual way. Again with things that could be kept on hand. We don't have access to a lot of Asian foods here. Any ideas? Thanks.

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  1. maybe use Canton ginger liqueur (French made ginger infused cognac available in liquor stores or online or Old Raj saffron infused gin in your next drink

    1. Asian ingredients work very well in cocktails. The key thing is to start out with the smallest amounts first, then build up until you get the result you are looking for.

      I've played around with using soy sauce instead of/or in addition to bitters on cocktails. It works well with fruit based cocktails especially with mango, papaya, pineapple, and other tropical and Asian fruits. It brings in complexity and the hint of saltiness brings out the other flavors, matching well and toning down the sweetness. I also use it in my Bloody Marys.

      You also mention toasted sesame oil, which works well in Bloody Marys. I have played around with it in other cocktails and one drop in a whiskey based cocktail like a Manhattan is interesting and tasty. Two drops is horrid. This is one time where I shake the hell out of a Manhattan, rather than stir gently, so that they oil emulsifies, or at least for a minute or two.

      Thai curry pastes are fun to play with in cocktails. Just the tiniest bit is all you want. A tiny dab half the size of a pea will bring in some wild flavors. Works well in gin and vodka based cocktails, fruity ones, and great in Bloody Mary's where I use about double the amount. There are so many styles of curry pastes available, and each one is unique, playing around the theme.

      I don't have access to many good quality Asian foods where I am now, just what's available in supermarkets, but when I visit NYC I pick up interesting things that I can't get here. One is galangal, a cousin of ginger, sometimes called Thai ginger. I peel and freeze it and use small amounts in cocktails, as well as anything I would use ginger in. It hs its own unique taste which is excellently herbal. It works better with fruit based cocktails, but I did use a tiny bit in a Manhattanesque cocktail and it was excellent. It paired really well with rye and vermouth.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JMF

        These all sound great. Sambal? Wasabi? I'm with you. Next time I'm in San Francisco or NYC, I'm going to check out some of the more exotic. Are you a professional "mixologist"? Thanks

        1. re: c oliver

          I am a food & beverage consultant and do mixology consulting for bars and restaurants, also a writer specializing in spirits & cocktails and the artisanal/micro-distillery movement. Additionally I'm partner in a winery, brewery, and soon a distillery.

          1. re: JMF

            Congrats. The food and beverage world is sure expanding, isn't it?

      2. What about Sriracha sauce instead of Tabasco? I love your idea and will take on a challenge to experiment ;)

        1. Perhaps a dash of Shaoxing instead of sherry

          1. I have been using sake and citron vodka for an oriental martini lately, twist.