There are spirits out there who have defined their own category within a category. Bloodshot has become the latest to add themselves to this trend, the trend being a vodka flavour to help create a certain cocktail. Absolut did it with their Absolut Pepper, Belvedere released Belvedere Bloody Mary and now Bloodshot have come into the frame with a vodka spirit created solely to enjoy a Blood Mary ‘the right way’.
Bloodshot is a British invention, masterminded by Mark Douglas Hill who himself is a life-long Bloody Mary & Bullshot drinker. With a background of a development chef and food and drinks waiter, it seemed only right to use his skills to create a product that can perfect his favourite tipple.
The first bottles of Bloodshot were produced at home in Mark’s Notting Hill development kitchen in 2009, with two years passing to perfect the recipe until it had its first bottling in June 2011. Launched initially in Selfridges, it is now available on three continents only one year later.
Bloodshot has been defined as ‘one of the world’s most complex spirits to produce’ involving three intricate production processes, over twenty ingredients, two stills, four maceration vats, one master distiller, one master wine-maker and absolutely no artificial additives. The first production process is the distillation of English wheat into what they think is the finest Vodka in the world. The primary distillation is in the UK’s tallest tower still. This continuously rectfies the fermented grain through 43 rectification plates into a spirit of un-rivalled purity. They then run the wheat spirit through Angela, a 108 year old heritage copper pot still.
In a process similar to Gin production, a maceration of a carefully balanced blend of spices, aromatics and botanicals is combined with the distilled wheat Vodka. Although a closely guarded secret, it does include smoky chipotle chillies from Mexico, cracked black pepper from Kerala, Spanish lemon peel, German horseradish root, Hungarian coriander seed, hot cayenne pepper from Lousiana and celery seed. All these flavours are extracted for 36 hours to create a complex flavour that is then filtered and moved to the blending vats.
The final stage is the blending process which marries the spice infused spirit with lemon and lime, the savoury Worcestershire Sauce and the finish of award-winning Port, shipped direct from the Douro Valley. The blended Bloodshot is left to mature, mellow and fuse for a further three weeks before a four step filtration process finally reveals the deep red finish.
Bloodshot is bottled & labelled on-site and only then is ready to leave its rural Sussex birthplace in Windfall Wood.
So a rather interesting back-story, but the question is, how does it fare?
Bloodshot – 29.9%
A strong aroma of Worcester sauce hits the nose first, but mellows rather quickly into a smooth, pepper sense. A huge hit on the palate that awakens all the senses! Very concentrated in flavour with a powerful punch of pepper, citrus and spices. Creates a long, lasting experience that slowly mellows.
Now there’s only really one cocktail something like this can go with –
200ml tomato juice
Mix Bloodshot with tomato juice and serve with ice, lemon and your preferred garnish (celery is the usual serve, however grated pepper can be used too).
A rather surprising spirit here, and not one for the faint-hearted. It’s also recommended to be served as a shot, with beef consume and tomato juice or just over ice. With these flavoured spirits though, don’t let them put you off. I always recommend to give these brands a try, and if you don’t like it, try it in its original purpose which in this case is a Bloody Mary. Bartenders love customers trying new drinks, and this one should be hitting many a bar in the very near future.
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