by Andy Pearson

The perfect Bloody Mary is a hotly debated topic. Try this one for size: the key ingredients are all present and correct; retro celery garnish optional.

Drinks and cocktails

Buyer's guide

Vodka varies widely in price. It’s unlikely that the quality of some ‘super-premium’ vodkas, tricked out in fancy packaging, is in line with their hefty price-tags, so approach these with caution. Likewise, the least-expensive vodkas can have an unpleasantly harsh flavour, so choose wisely.


Vodka, particularly the unflavoured varieties, can be kept for long periods after being opened.


Most vodkas are filtered after distillation, which makes them very pure and ideal for mixing in cocktails. Vodka can be used in cakes and for curing foods such as salmon.