behind the bardrinksentertainingFood & Drinkkristina gillrecipes

behind the bar: tom ross’ bloody gary

by Kristina Gill

From my childhood, the only cocktail I ever remember hearing people talk about was a Bloody Mary.  To this day, I associate it with a serious adult drink.  The closest I’ve ever gotten to one, though, is the spicy version of V8, to which, for a certain period in life, I was addicted.  Fast forward oh, a bunch of years, and bars manager for Polpo Ltd, Tom Ross, has introduced me to the Bloody Gary, Bloody Mary’s younger hipster brother.  A drink with many layers of flavor, all I can say is that you should really try it.  I was quite impressed at how the garlic infused vodka adds great flavor to this cocktail.  If you don’t want to make it yourself and are passing through London, you can find it on the menu of Spuntino in Soho (London).   –Kristina

About Tom: From his time spent working in restaurant bars, Tom has developed a strong appreciation for how different drinks can complement and augment various stages of the dining experience. Matching wines with courses, experimenting with classic aperitifs, and mixing digestifs in new ways has led Tom to create fun drinks based on enhancing their relationship with food.  Tom is currently bars manager for Polpo LTD, which includes restaurants Polpo, Mishkin’s, and Spuntino in London.

See Tom’s full recipe after the jump.

The Bloody Gary


For the Garlic Vodka
Bring one garlic bulb to boil in water. When the water has come to a boil, finish off bulb in oven. The garlic is ready when soft. Peel and use 1 clove of garlic per 750ml of vodka. Let steep at least 24 hours before serving.

Bloody Gary

  • 25 ml Garlic Vodka
  • 10 ml Lemon Juice
  • 25 ml Barbera Volpi Red wine
  • 10 ml Lea and Perrins
  • 1- 8 dashes of Tabasco (customer preference)
  • Splash of Tomato juice
  • Crushed black pepper
  • Chilli Salt


  1. Start with the Tobasco and crushed black pepper, in a highball glass. (Drinker’s preference for ‘spicy’ will determine how much Tobasco you use)
  2. Fill the glass with ice and add the rest of the ingredients, ending with the Tomato juice.
  3. Stir the mix and air it through two Toby tins.
  4. Pour into a High ball glass.
  5. Crack some more black pepper on top and garnish with a lemon slice.

Why Tom loves this recipe

The Bloody Gary came about after a discussion that Larry, bartender at Spuntino, and I had about Spanish gazpacho and its likeness (unless you are Spanish then I’m very, very sorry) to a well-made Bloody Mary. The chat moved on to my love of roasting garlic and squeezing out the smoky, puree like insides and spreading it on toast… and a cocktail was born!

Suggested For You


  • The drink looks great, but what is that cheese pictured with it? When I visited Paris my favorite picnic food was that cheese and I can’t remember the brand. I have been craving them ever since. Please help!

  • I’d love to try this, as I could never stomach so much tomato juice in a bloody Mary…. however, I think of vodka and redwine and I instantly get a headache! lol

  • @Jess I’m not sure it’s ok to talk about brands in the comment session, but in case Kristina let us know that it is ok, I’ll be glad to tell you :) although I would guess that in the restaurant they would serve delicious made-on-the-spot fresh cheese appetizers!

  • Hi Jess- I don’t remember, I think it may be Camoscio d’Oro– it came in a little pack of maybe 24 little pieces. You may be able to google it to find out what the closest equivalent is that is available where you are? -Kristina

  • Hi, would you consider adding Pinterest buttons to your blog theme? I like to pin recipes by category, and so do a lot do my friends — not an unheard of use :-) (one can’t add the widget to browser on an ipad and the Pinterest browser is awful)

  • @jess, I’d say it can be Aperivrai, if you had it in paris this is a very common appetizer here :) btw, made the drink today, awesome. thanks for sharing!!!

  • Thanks for your help! I found the cheese I was thinking of and it is Aperivrais. I can’t find a U.S. equivalent, so if anyone knows I would be forever greatful. They would be a great snack to go along with the Bloody Gary when I make it.

  • Hi! We brought this over to a friend’s house for Saturday brunch and it was delicious! I was nervous about the garlic-vodka portion of the recipe. The directions were a bit strange…it doesn’t seem right to boil and bake a whole bulb of garlic to only use one clove.

    But it turns out you can boil just a few cloves at a time– just drop them in boiling water (with as much skin as possible) for about 7 minutes or until they’re fairly soft.

    I then placed the cloves on foil and a cooking sheet and baked for another 5 minutes at 400 degrees.

    I don’t know if I want a whole 750ml of vodka dedicated to garlic flavor, so I just purchased a 350ml bottle and dropped my finished cloves in there for 24 hours.

    The flavor wasn’t as strong as I expected (could be how I prepared the garlic?), so I’m glad I used a couple cloves instead of just one.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, Design Sponge & Tom Ross!

  • Do you have a recommended red wine that is easier to obtain in the U.S.? When I looked it up, it looks like you can only get it in New Jersey.