Shuck It , It’s Bloody Joseph Time

Have you ever tried and Bloody Joseph? No, me neither. I am a devotee of the Bloody Mary, I have spent years perfecting chilli-spiced vodka, getting the right condiments into the right tomato juice, choosing to add lemon or lime.  I am of course familiar with the other Bloody Mary variants such as the Red Snapper with gin, The Bloody Maria with Tequila and the rather odd Michelada with beer. The latter is definitely an acquired taste.

Now back to that Bloody Joseph. This is a variant using whisky, sometimes known as a Bloody Scotch.  I confess, I have never thought about putting a whisky into tomato juice. To me, drinking whisky means a cold nip in the air, the smell of wood burning stoves lingering in the air, a slight cold. It’s something that revives you, comforts you and keeps you warm. It’s sacred.

Having said all that, I am not one to shy away from dipping my toe in the water. When the fabulous people at Douglas Laing & Co suggested I give a Bloody Joseph a go using their self-styled Maritime Malt, Rock Island Whisky, I stepped up. Rock Island Whisky is a blended malt  a veritable cornucopia of all the islands’ best including Islay, Arran, Jura and Orkney. That’s quite an A-list of distilleries to choose from. I confess to trying a dram before I tried the Bloody Joseph and It was everything it professed to be on the label. Smokey, peppery with honied overtones, basically everything I love personally in a malt. It does have a rather salty, sea-like nose to it, which is why it is supposed to lend itself to being served in a Bloody Joseph.

With our beautifully packaged bottle of Rock Island came some beautiful branded glasses and some very welcome cans of Big Tom. Another favourite of mine, already spiced enough for your average person and something to add to if you’re me ! We waited until after service on Saturday night to treat ourselves to a Bloody Joseph. I built the cocktail as I would a Bloody Mary except my nervousness got the better of me and I only put a single measure of whisky in my glass. We cheersed and I took my first sip. WOW. It was an explosion of flavour in my mouth. A smoky, salty, hot, piquant glass of deliciousness. I loved it. It’s certainly something I would have again and again and I can see why they suggest it is excellent with seafood too. We will use the fabulous spray bottles also sent to us to anoint oysters the next time a guest in the restaurant orders some or indeed a Fruit de Mer.

BLOODY JOSEPH ( 1 serve) 

  • Ice
  • A large Measure of Rock Island
  • A few dashes of Worcester Sauce
  • A few dashes of Tabasco Sauce
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • A can of Big Tom or Fresh Tomato Juice
  • A wedge of lemon or lime.


Fill a glass with ice. Pour in your Rock Island, followed by all your spices, salt and pepper. Next pour on your juice and stir. Check for seasoning and add more heat or saltiness if required. Squeeze the lemon or lime wedge before stirring once more, then drop the entire wedge into your drink. Sip at your leisure.


I have to say, I am sorry Bloody Mary, there’s a new kid on the block, I will always love you best, but I might just have another, double measured Bloody Joseph, just to make sure I wasn’t mistaken.

Find out more about Douglas Laing and Co by clicking on their website HERE or following them on Twitter Facebook and Instagram

We were sent a bottle of Douglas Laing and Co Rock Island Malt together with two glasses, two spray bottles and four cans of Big Tom for review. We were not paid and our review is totally impartial. 

Anita-Clare Field is Chef/Patron of La Petite Bouchée in Witheridge North Devon 

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