7 Bloody Marys that kick it up a notch
Despite a vicious-sounding name, the Bloody Mary cocktail is a kind-hearted drink.
"You're not supposed to drink brown spirits before 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. doesn't seem right to drink beer," explained said Dave Morris, owner of Salt Lake City's Piper Down social club. "But there's something in our culture that makes it socially acceptable to sip a Bloody Mary at breakfast." While everyone agrees that the queen of morning cocktails is an ideal drink for breakfast or brunch or when you need a cure for a hangover the origins of this savory tomato juice and vodka concoction are up for discussion.
The most common tale credits M. Fernand "Pete" Petiot, who served a tomato and vodka cocktail in the early 1920s at the New York Club in Paris, a favorite hangout for American expatriates, such as Ernest Hemingway. When Prohibition ended, Petiot returned to the U.S. and began serving the drink at New York City's famed King Cole Bar inside the St. Regis Hotel. It was there that the cocktail became more complex, with Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pepper and celery salt, according to the "Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America."
Even its moniker is a mystery. Some believe it was a no-good girlfriend named Mary that sparked the name, others insist it pays homage to Mary Tudor, the 16th century Queen of England.
No matter, bartenders say tomato juice and vodka offers a blank canvas for artistic and playful creations.
"For me a Bloody Mary has to have a lot of everything going on," said Rio Connelly, owner, brewer and beverage manager at Salt Lake City's Avenue's Proper and Publik House. "If you're just serving tomato juice with hot sauce it's going to taste pretty one dimensional. A good one includes a variety: salty, sour, a little sweet and hot."
There are many Utah restaurants and bars that offer a Bloody Mary that fits the description, here are 7 that won't disappoint.
Avenues Proper and Publik House • The $3 Bloody Mary available during Sunday brunch has 13 ingredients, including Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, brine from the house-made pickles and the garlic powder, which is made by chopping, dehydrating and then grinding fresh garlic, said Connelly. It's usually garnished with olives, lemon or lime slice and pickled green beans. It, of course, is a favorite with the restaurant's chicken and waffles. 376 8th Ave., Salt Lake City; 385-227-8628.
Caffe Niche • It's all about the fresh-roasted peppers at this favorite Salt Lake City brunch spot. Chef Ethan Lappe roasts poblano, Anaheim and jalapeno peppers and adds Tabasco and habanero hot sauces and fresh-grated horseradish. The roasted peppers and spices have different affects on the tastebuds. "With each one you feel the heat in a different part of the mouth," he said. "And while there are many elements of heat, it comes across as only slightly hot." 779 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City; 801-433-3380.
Finca • For this Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant, bar director Scott Gardner sticks to a classic Bloody Mary base: tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, capers and olive brine. But he makes Finca's hot sauce from scratch, using two traditional Spanish ingredients: sherry vinegar and smoked paprika plus jalapeno and cumin. "It creates this really unique, smoky flavor," he said. The $5 cocktail is available during Saturday and Sunday brunch, a meal that doesn't really call for an outrageous cocktail. "Brunch is a comfort service and people deserve a classic but done really well," he said. 1291 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City; 801-487-0699.
Gracie's • Take a house-made Bloody Mary base, add a long pour (1-1/2-ounces) of bacon-infused vodka and garnish it with a wasabi-dipped tiger prawn, olives, and other green vegetables and you get Gracie's popular Tiger Mary. It's available for $13.50 during the popular weekend brunch, Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. "My wife, Jennifer, and I experimented with a lot of different ingredients to get this recipe," said Shawn Frehner, who co-owns the bar with Deno Dakis. 326 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-819-7565.
Piper Down • The bar has several Bloody Mary cocktails on the menu, but the signature is the Bloody Piper ($7), made with chipotle vodka and topped with Guinness beer, "which mellows" the spice a bit. Bartenders will make it as mild or spicy as your want, with horseradish, Worchestershire and garlic. And guests can bulk it up at the Bloody Mary bar with pickled vegetables and other condiments. Another popular variation at Piper Down is the BLT a traditional Bloody Mary garnished with a leaf of romaine lettuce, tomato slices and bacon. 1492 S. State St., Salt Lake City; 801-468-1492.
St. Regis Deer Valley • Besides the original Bloody Mary, made famous in the 1920s, the J&G Grill menu also has its 7452 Mary named for the resort's altitude. The libation includes High West Distillery vodka, the hotel's traditional Mary Mix (see recipe) and a dollop of wasabi-celery-green apple "espuma." The foamy garnish is a nod to the restaurant's namesake chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who has an affinity for Asian ingredients and cooking, said Regis Perret, director of restaurants and bars. Rimmed with black lava salt from Hawaii, the cocktail also comes with a mini pipette think eye dropper of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce so guests can customize the heat level. The price, $16.50, doesn't seem to deter guests. "We served 8,000 last winter," said Perret. 2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City; 435-940-5700.
Tin Angel Cafe • The Bloody Mary Slider served Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is more than just a cocktail it's a meal. For $10.50 it comes with a beef slider, a shrimp wrapped with speck (a cured Italian bacon) and pickled vegetables. The liquid portion gets a kick with the addition of the Utah-made Mama Africa's Pili-Pili sauce. The recipe originates in the Kasai region of the Congo and is one of the hottest sauces on Earth, according to Mama Africa's website, "so hot that people that eat Pili-pili rarely catch malaria" and other illnesses. 365 W. 400 South, Salt Lake City; 801-328-4155.
Mary's many sisters
A traditional Bloody Mary is made with a tomato juice and vodka, with Worcestershire sauce and other spices. But there are dozens of variations on this complex cocktail. Here are a few:
Bloody Bull • Beef broth or bouillon is added to a basic Bloody Mary.
Bloody Caesar • Clam juice is added to a basic Bloody Mary.
Bloody Derby • Bourbon is used in place of the vodka.
Bloody Maria • Tequila is used in place of the vodka.
Bloody Molly • Guinness is used in place of the vodka.
Bloody Ninja • Sake is used in place of the vodka.
Chelada • Mexican beer is used in place of the vodka.
Contrary Mary • The cocktail without liquor.
Red Snapper • Gin is used in place of the vodka.
Whiskey Mary • Whiskey is used in place of the vodka.
The St. Regis Deer Valley's 7452 Mary
6 ounces High West vodka
2 cups (16 ounces) tomato juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup cornichon juice (tiny gherkin pickles)
2 teaspoons horseradish
1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
Wasabi celery espuma (foam)
2 ounces celery juice
1 ounce green apple juice
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
A few parsley leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
Dash of salt
Dash of Xanthan
Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
In a large pitcher, combine first nine ingredients for the cocktail base. Taste and add additional Worcestershire and/or Sriracha to taste.
Pour mixture into six tall glasses so they are about 3/4ths full. In another container, combine all the ingredients (except cayenne pepper) for the espuma. Blend until frothy.
Top each Bloody Mary with a dollop of the wasabi foam. Garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, if desired
Servings • 6
Source: The St. Regis Deer Valley
Bloody Mary Mix for a Crowd
This mix is prepared without vodka so you have the flexibility to use it "virgin."
1 gallon tomato juice (fresh if you have the time)
juice from 4 lemons
juice from 3 limes
1/2 cup finely chopped garlic
4 tablespoons celery salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons black pepper (Fresh Ground)
2 tablespoons onion powder
1/4 cup red chilli flakes
1/2 cup olive juice
1/2 cup horseradish (peeled and finely grated from whole root)
2 ounces Worcestershire sauce
In a large container, combine all ingredients and stir vigorously for five minutes. Allow to settle overnight (if you have the time). Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Stir again before serving.
For each drink, pour 4 ounces of Bloody Mary mix into a Collins glass. Add 1.5 ounces of vodka. Add ice and stir. Garnish with your choice of absurd ingredients and serve!
Servings • 35
Source: Utah Mixologist Sean Neves and Dax Williamson