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I started working with La Boîte à Epice in the spring of 2011, after PDT head bartender Jeff Bell biked up to the store to bring back some of Mr. Sercarz’s handiwork to incorporate into our cocktails. We were so taken by the aromatic properties of his spices, we incorporated four different blends (with sugar or salt) into rims that accentuated the liquid component of each cocktail. Our Sarawak Cocktail, featuring the #26 spice, is featured in his brilliant book The Art of Blending.
The goal of my recipe development from the outset was to create a modular Bloody Mary recipe, where one could substitute base spirit and spice interchangeably, which would be fine strained for clarity, and served without a salad bar of garnishes to distract from the quality of the drink. Despite my intentions, I found that simple substitution didn’t yield the results I desired, so hot sauce, citrus, and spice root were substituted in certain recipes.
This isn’t the first Bloody Mary spice mix, but I can assure you there’s no better resource for spices than Lior Lev Sercarz. Instead of carefully mixing varying proportions of each spice into your recipe, or carelessly adding them without measurement, we’ve created four mixes and accompanying recipes based on widely-available mixers, that will allow you to prepare and recreate each recipe again and again with just half a teaspoon of spice mix.