The other morning (I say morning…) I rose from my slumber and looked out the window to see that Spring had sprung and the sun was shining.
I also saw that my windows needed washing but decided against that hour of fun and instead headed up the road for a cup of coffee in the sun.
I bounded up the street with summery tunes playing in my earphones (Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince Summertime ohhhhhhhh yeah), helped an old lady into the road, put a young girl’s cat up in a tree, jammed a blind guy in a revolving door and generally had a great time. With a copy of the new ‘i’ newspaper in hand I sat down to have my coffee and watch the world and lady’s bottoms go by.
Within 5 minutes I had spat coffee over myself and was ready to kill. Why? Well some piss ant Ph.D. had done research on mixing the perfect Bloody Mary and had the underused balls to get newspapers to print the findings.
Now don’t think me an irrational drinks snob here, it wasn’t the fact that scientists had decided to have a look at the world of cocktails that had enraged me, nor was it the fact that they had decided in their wisdom that the Bloody Mary was the ‘ultimate cocktail challenge’ due to the fact it ‘is the most complex cocktail for flavour chemistry’.
Personally I would say the amount of ingredients and the high degree of personal taste involved (leading a lot of bars to offer extra ingredients to customers allow for personal adjustment – something you don’t see in many if any other cocktails) lead it to be one of the less challenging cocktails out there.
No, what enraged me were the conclusions Dr Neil Da Costa came to after his, presumably, reasonably thorough research. Dr De Costa is a ‘flavour expert’ (seeing as he is also American I guess I should say ‘flavor expert’) and works at the International Flavors & Fragrances Inc – which for legal reasons I can’t say makes him a tosser but…
The conclusions the good Doc came to:
- First and foremost use fresh ingredients as the drink is ‘highly unstable’ (which presumably explains all those early morning explosions in bars leading to, quite literally, red faces) and needs to be served as soon as made
- Use lots of ice (at this point the coffee exited my mouth and found a new home in my crotch area)
- Use good quality tomato juice
- You can however use cheap vodka
Now despite literally minutes of research on the net I couldn’t find out how long Doctor Obvious spent coming to these conclusions but if it was any longer than 10 minutes (which I estimate to be the length of time it would take to ask a bartender and have him explain the answer) then he wasted a whole lot of time.
To top it all off I don’t even agree with point 4, sure don’t use a top shelf brand but for god’s sake don’t use some own brand crap either, if the drink is balanced well then there should be a hit from the vodka and you still want that hit to taste good.
After a quick visit to the A&E to have my scolded crotch dabbed by a very nice nurse with soft hands and even softer eyes (I must remember to send Staff Nurse Jeff a thank you card) I went home and decided it would only be right to make myself a Bloody Mary.
I, of course, popped into a shop on the way home to buy the cheapest tomato juice I could find, which I mixed with Sainsbury’s own brand vodka, no ice and left in the sun for 2 hours before drinking. It was shit. If only I had remembered that great life changing advice.
I use this as an open letter to all scientists around the world, especially those with research grants from governments. Before you do any, and I mean any, research into the world of drinks find a decent bar in your town pop in and ask the bartender his thoughts.
You might find that we know the answer to your pointless, inane, useless ‘research’ without you having to spend vital money and time looking into it. In return we will endeavour not to try and cross breed anymore monkeys and parrots to make the ultimate bar back bottle opener.