Bloody Mary, salty crackling

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Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About
Five Hundred

The best Bloody Mary I have ever had was in New York at a fireman’s bar. The addition of fresh horseradish was incredible. But we don’t always have it in South Africa. This truly is one of my best drinks. I’m always up for more savoury than sweet cocktails. The fennel pollen adds another angle to the aroma and flavour.


Bloody Mary

  • 100 ml tomato cocktail
  • 50 ml vodka
  • 15 ml lemon juice
  • 5 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 dashes red Tabasco sauce
  • 3 grinds black pepper
  • 1 celery stalk and leaves
  • fennel pollen


  • 200 g pork skin
  • 100 g rock salt


To make one serving, add all the ingredients to a small shaker tin. Fill a large shaker tin with ice and place a julep strainer on top. Pour the contents of the small tin into the larger tin through the strainer. Strain the liquid from the large tin to the smaller tin and then back into the large tin. Repeat this process five times, to allow for aeration to bring out the aromas and flavours. Pour into a suitable glass and garnish with 1 celery stalk, celery leaves and fennel pollen.

Cover the pork skin with rock salt and leave for 8 hours. Brush off the salt and bake in the oven at 230°C for about 13 minutes until crunchy. Serve a shard of the crackling with the Bloody Mary.