Time for a Bloody Mary


The month of October usually brings thoughts of costumes, fall and pumpkins.  This year, it also provides a reason to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Bloody Mary.  The exact creater of the Bloody Mary is not 100% clear, but according to USA Today, October is the month to celebrate this breakfast/brunch classic. 

Everyone has a different take on what makes a Bloody Mary great, which is why I’m partial to the Bloody Mary bars some brunch restaurants feature.  Here is a Top 10 List of places to enjoy the hangover cure from USA Today.

The Bar at the St. Regis  Washington, D.C.

Settle into one of the plush purple chairs in this royal-colored lounge and try the Capital Mary, a Mid-Atlantic spin on the classic Bloody Mary. Made with tomato juice, clam juice, sweet vermouth and gin, the cocktail is topped with ice cubes infused with Old Bay seasoning and garnished with a crab finger or shrimp. 202-509-8000


King Cole Bar  New York

This dark, woody bar tucked into the St. Regis hotel claims to have created the Bloody Mary in 1934, when French bartender Fernand Petiot put his own spin on a tomato juice-based cocktail popular in his home country. Originally called the Bloody Mary, it was renamed the Red Snapper, a name considered more appropriate for the hotel’s elegant guests. The drink is still made as it was then, with vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. “It’s the original,” DeGroff says. “The most classic of the classics.” 212-339-6721


Commander’s Palace  New Orleans

Appropriately situated in the Garden District, this turquoise-colored restaurant serves up a Bloody Mary garnished with pickled okra, pearl onions, olives and a dilly bean, a pickled green bean. “I love that as you go from region to region, people put their own twist on it and use all these creative garnishes,” DeGroff says. “Every vegetable known to man has ended up as a garnish in a Bloody Mary.” For a little extra punch, Commander’s Palace rims the glass with its own Cajun red pepper powder and tops it all off with a little Louisiana hot sauce. 504-899-8221; commanderspalace.com


Perry’s  San Francisco

Those who don’t want a full garden in their Bloody Mary should pull up a seat at Perry’s in San Francisco. This landmark saloon keeps it simple with tomato juice, vodka, hot sauce, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce and a glass rimmed with kosher salt. “It’s like barbecue in America,” DeGroff says. “Everyone thinks their Bloody Mary is the best. Whether you like it simple or garnished with a garden’s-worth of vegetables, balance is key. Perry’s is very well-balanced.” 415-922-9022; perryssf.com


Miller Tavern   Toronto

Canadians put their own spin on the Bloody Mary by making the cocktail with a blend of tomato juice and clam broth, or clamato juice. The variation, commonly referred to as the Bloody Caesar, is a popular brunch option at the historic Miller Tavern. Here, they serve the cocktail with dill pickle brine, which adds a nice vinegar bite to the drink. 416-322-5544, themiller.ca


Clarke’s  Miami Beach

Behind a dramatic, mahogany bar, the mixologists at Clarke’s shake up a Bloody Mary with an interesting twist that doesn’t take away from its classic style. “What really struck me about their Bloody Mary is that they use Houses of Parliament steak sauce,” DeGroff says. “You don’t see it a lot in this country. It’s a very rich steak sauce, and it adds a unique flavor and bit of viscosity to the drink.” 305-538-9885; clarkesmiamibeach.com


Nacional 27 Chicago

Adam Seger, an “off-the-wall bartender,” mixes up creative cocktails including the Cazuela, an “adult Gatorade” made with citrus, sugar-cane rum and Fresca, and the Orient Express, made with Domaine de Canton, yuzu and a house-grown Kaffir lime. As with most of Seger’s cocktails, the Bloody Mary is made with the herbs he grows at the bar and heirloom tomatoes. “Forget tomato juice, he mashes a yellow and red tomato together as the base,” DeGroff says. “It’s what he calls his ‘drink like you eat’ philosophy.” 312-664-2727; n27chicago.com


Naga  Bellevue, Wash.

The Naga lounge inside Chantanee Thai restaurant has made a name for itself by serving up obscure 18th-century martinis and hand-carving ice into scotch drinks. For the bar’s Bloody Mary, they’ve added a dash of malt scotch. “It’s as smoky as a campfire,” DeGroff says. “The aroma of the scotch brings this smokiness to the drink, which is a great and unusual touch.” 425-455-3226; chantanee.com


Cole’s  Los Angeles

This downtown restaurant first earned notoriety for creating the French Dip sandwich, a hot roast beef sandwich dipped in au jus, the beef juice collected during cooking. In a spin on the Bloody Mary known as the Bloody Bull, beef broth is shaken into the cocktail. At Cole’s, they use the beef au jus from the French Dip sandwich for a truly rich cocktail. 213-622-4090; colesfrenchdip.com


Brophy Brothers  Santa Barbara, Calif.

This seafood restaurant nestled in the Santa Barbara harbor pours a straightforward Bloody Mary with celery salt on the rim. But the drink proves fresh ingredients make the difference. “They use fresh horseradish, skin it and grate it right into the drink,” DeGroff says. “It’s a simple recipe, but the fresh-ground horseradish is delicious.” 805-966-4418; brophybros.com

Where do you get your favorite Bloody Mary?


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