I recently read an excellent post on another blog about the Cheeky Vimto. Drinks like this are enough to make you want give up brewing (almost but not really). I mean why bother going to university, working years of unsocial shifts, long hours, sampling beers from far and wide, understanding flavour and how to affect it and all the trials that you must face to become a proper brewer, when you can buy a nice shirt and an androgynous hairstyle and serve blue stuff, made of crude oil and beet starch, in a jug full of ice to halfwits? It’s a bit like a chef who buys in readymeals and cooks them at your table in a musical microwave before juggling with the plastic tubs, setting them down in front of you and sticking a sparkler in the top.
The Cheeky Vimto gives serious mixologists who spend thousands on their costumes a bad name. Why the tirade about cocktails? Because today’s 52 brew beer is based on a cocktail. When I was in the states I went out for a meal with the other brewers and the marketing company. The guy from the marketing company had a Virgin Bloody Mary which is a Bloody Mary without the vodka. The ever so subtle Australians call it a Bloody Virgin.
There is apparently some debate about the first mixologist to make the Bloody Mary. This is unsurprising as it is just a mixture of drinks which other people have made and the idea of pouring them into a glass together is hardly a work of genius. My Dirty Bloody Mary is a strong ale mashed with carrot and sweet potato with the malt grist. Tomato puree is then added in the boil to turn the beer blood red. I am hoping that the boil removes most of the tomato flavour leaving just the acidity to balance what should be a very sweet beer. The sweet potato and carrot should only contribute fermentable sugars so will not add to the flavour.
Malt: Pale ale
Hops: Chinook, Mount Hood, Cascade
Yeast: American Ale
Spices: Sweet potato, carrot and tomato