Wave goodbye to the Bloody Mary – a new brunch cocktail is in town! Discover the Red Snapper, the ginniest way to greet the weekend.
Fermanagh, home of this month’s amazing Boatyard Double Gin, is known throughout the British Isles for its fabulous fishing. We may not all have access to the freshly caught bounty of Northern Ireland’s lakes, but there’s one cocktail inspired by aquatic life that we can all celebrate this month: the Red Snapper!
If you haven’t heard of a Red Snapper before, you can’t be blamed – this cocktail has long been overshadowed by that juggernaut of brunch cocktails, the Bloody Mary. But, by swapping the vodka for gin, a staid classic is transformed into a botanical wonder packed full of ginny joy!
“Everyone loves a Bloody Mary,” says Tony Bennet, manager of The Deveraux in central London. “The bold tomato juice can support the punchy flavours of the traditional recipe, and using gin instead of vodka – as you would in a Red Snapper – just adds to that.”
He continues, “The botanicals can raise the drink to a whole new level. After having had my first taste of a Red Snapper, it was hard to imagine ever ordering a Bloody Mary again!”
But how did the Red Snapper make it onto cocktail menus the world over?
As you might suspect, the most accepted story about the Red Snapper is the most obvious: it’s a remixed version of the classic Bloody Mary.
The story goes that legendary bartender Fernand Pietot, inventor of the Bloody Mary, had to rethink his signature drink when he moved from Harry’s Bar in Paris (legendary haunt of Ernest Hemmingway) to the St. Regis in New York City.
In the post-Prohibition era, vodka was hard to come by stateside. Gin, on the other hand, was easy to find – so Pietot swapped the spirits in his drink and gave the new concoction a less gruesome name: the Red Snapper.
With its base of tomato juice – what could be more wholesome than that? – the Red Snapper lends itself naturally to mid-morning mixing. And, when you replace vodka, with its ‘last-drink-of-the-night” reputation, with the botanical complexity of gin, you get even closer to the perfect pre-noon tipple.
As Tony of The Deveraux says, “Gin makes the perfect daytime drink for me. The secret lies in how well it compliments a quality mixer. A good G&T doesn’t feel like a traditional ‘spirit & mixer’ – it’s just a great, refreshing long drink.”
Don’t let the long recipes you’ll find online put you off the Red Snapper; instead, simply add a few bits and bobs to the gin and Britvic Tomato Juice Cocktail in your May Gin of the Month box and stir for a taste sensation.
A cornerstone of the Britvic range since 1938, the tomato juice cocktail in your box already contains celery extract, lemon juice and salt – so, with the addition of just a few cupboard essentials, you’re in brunch paradise. Just follow the recipe below:
Fill a tall glass with ice and combine your gin and tomato juice cocktail. Drop in hot sauce and Worchester Sauce to taste, then grind in salt and pepper. Stir with celery stalk, squeeze in the juice of a lemon wedge (if desired) and serve.
50ml Boatyard Double Gin
100ml Britvic Tomato Juice Cocktail
Hot sauce, to taste
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
A generous grind each of salt and pepper
Celery and lemon slices, to garnish