Today we’re talkin’ Bloody’s. These days bars and restaurants have gone off-the-charts-crazy with the ingredients they are stuffing into a glass when making a Bloody Mary. I imagine it’s the same aimless thought process that goes into making a fruit cake: find a bunch of crap in your fridge and throw it in a pan.
In fact, I became so inspired that I tried to outdo them by attempting to balance an entire roasted wild boar with an apple in its mouth on top of the beans and celery, but the glass tipped over and spilled the vodka and mix all over my kitchen counter, so I cursed at my cat who was judging me from the kitchen table and poured myself a bourbon instead.
#1: The Bloody Best Bloody Mary from Chef Point in Watauga,TX
This is exactly what I’m talking about when I mention outrageousness. Leave it to Texas to come up with something as ridiculously gluttonous and barbaric as this. I guess we’re lucky they didn’t toss a squirrel or some other road kill in there. As it turns out though, this thing is bad-ass awesome. Even better than those steak-eating promotions where if you finish a steak the size of an inner tube you get it for free.
Ingredients: Vodka, secret Bloody Mary mix, your choice of a 16oz domestic beer, their famous Better Than Sex Fried Chicken, a Nolan Ryan slider, waffle fries, bacon, olives, jalapenos, beans, shrimp, lemons, limes and possibly your mom’s fruit cake.
If you’re ever in Watauga, Texas, tie your horse to a hitching post and see if you can commit suicide with this Bloody Mary weapon of choice. It shouldn’t be too hard to find. Just ask for the fine dining restaurant located inside a gas station, although that might be par for the course in Texas.
#2: Balsamic Bloody Mary from Zuni Café, San Francisco, CA
Moving to the opposite side of the elegance scale, we find the Balsamic Bloody Mary from Zuni Café in SF. The only thing I didn’t like is that it has onions in it which I am none-to-fond-of, but that’s just me because I’m a finicky old lady when it comes to certain foods. Don’t let that deter you though because you’re probably somewhat normal and love onions. The flavor was tangy and sweet and reminded me that hangovers aren’t so bad when you’re snuggling the shit out of one of these. Nice effort, Zuni!
#3: The Bloody Lawrence from Longman & Eagle in Chicago, IL
We’ve all heard of the Bloody Mary sidekicks, like the Bloody Maria or the Bloody Caesar. Well, this goes under the of “Best Mary by any other name”, developed at the Longman & Eagle in Chicago.
I’m a bit biased here because I love bourbon, and this Bloody Mary is as kick-ass as a female cage-fighter on her period (OMG, I just made that up, which excites me because that is seriously the pinnacle of badass-ness, IMHO).
I guess you could categorize bourbon Bloody Mary’s as a Bloody Derby or Kentucky Bloody or Hillbilly Moonshine Bloody, whatever you want. I just know it’s DELICIOUS!
Offically called the Bloody Lawrence, it’s ingredients are: tomato juice, St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, salt, pepper, lemon, lime, green olive, pickle, cube of four-year aged Widmer cheddar from Wisconson, cornichon, and a glass rimmed with Old Bay.
Also served with an Old Style beer-back, so you can wash down the cheese I guess.
It’s better name is the Bloody Larry (which is how it shows up on the bill), which I love because it’s more casual and reminds me of one of my friend’s dad (Larry) who likes to wear his fanny pack to strip clubs and high-five us all the time. I don’t know what that has to do with Bloody Mary’s but I like him and I like this Bloody Mary, so suck it!
# 4: The DIY Bloody Mary from Lexington Brass in New York
This is a unique idea from the people at Lexington Brass in New York where you can build your own Bloody Mary at the Bloody Mary Bar. I was a bit torn with this one because it is fun and unique and unforgettable which is a great ingredient to getting people to come back to your bar, but it also reminded me of those buffets where old people dressed in plaid pants go and load up on as much macaroni & cheese and tapioca pudding as they can before complaining that $8.99 was too much to pay.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth here. The excitement this creates for people who love Bloody Mary’s can only rival the excitement Raider fans receive from a 4 win season. Your imagination is your only limit here.
Simply fill out an order form like you would at a deli when ordering a sandwich (you might even find similar ingredients).
You can choose from all sorts of things, including, but not limited to: kaffir lime chili salt, Franks, Worcestershire, pickled okra, cornichons, and “premium flair” like jumbo shrimp, prosciutto, oysters, bacon and more.
#5: Irving Street Bloody From Irving Street Kitchen in Portland, OR
I was up in Portland a few weeks ago for my daughter's basketball tournament and was able to trounce around this beautiful city for a few days, and the bars here were worthy and capable of tantalization. I remembered that Portland is also home to Jeffrey Morgenthaler, notable bar blogger and manager at Clyde Common in downtown Portland. I was going to stop in and say hi, but I got distracted by a homemade wall-hanging bottle opener at the local street fair and forgot.
I was able to, however, stop in at the Irving Street Kitchen and try out their Bloody Mary. I wasn't planning on putting them on the Best Of list, but then my wife took a sip and said, "OH MY GOD! This is unbelievable!" which sent a tingle in my groin and made me want to go back to the hotel without the kids, but instead I ordered one for myself.
The ingredients of this classic version had hand-grated horseradish, lemons, limes, sherry vinegar, cayenne pepper, onions and kalamata and green olives. Fairly basic, but I never have two Bloodies and I did just that after sucking that one down like it was a blue-raspberry Slurpee. Worth going out of your way if you're ever in the area, like Seattle.
That's a wrap, folks. If you have a favorite Bloody Mary that you think tops this one, send it my way at Dave@therealbarman.com. I'd like to try it out, and then judge you for it.
Cheers, until next time.