From our feature, The Vivant’s Top Ten Fabulous Gin Cocktail Recipes, I went in search of a gin version of a Bloody Mary, and Uncle Val’s didn’t disappoint with their very well-balanced peppered gin.
Uncle Val’s has some of the most uniquely crafted gin, including a traditional botanical, restorative, and a peppered gin which adds a little extra zing. Named after brand owner August Sebastiani’s Zio Valeria (“Uncle Val”), who lived in Lucca, Italy and was adept at growing Tuscan herbs, August tells me that he uses some of those very same botanicals from Val’s garden in his delicious gin.
The gin’s herbal ingredients include juniper, cucumber, lemon, lavender, coriander, rose petals, red bell pepper, black pepper and pimento, which gives it a distinct character all its own. The addition of black pepper to the botanicals list is simply brilliant and makes this a great sipping gin as well as the perfect gin for a unique twist on a Gin Mary. August shared his recipe for a Peppered Gin Mary with me, shown below, and it’s absolutely delightful.
- 2 oz Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin
- ½ oz Demitri’s Chilies and Peppers Bloody Mary Seasoning
- 6 oz tomato juice, not from concentrate
Build-in a shaker tin with all ingredients. Add ice, cap with another side of the tin, and shake lightly for four seconds. Dump the shaker into a pint glass and place a celery stick into the glass along with any other garnish, skewer, and serve.
Dan Blacharski is editor-in-chief of TheVivant.com.