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Best Bloody Marys

It's National Bloody Mary Day! Best places to enjoy the classic cocktail — or make one at home

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It’s Jan. 1, which means it’s “National Bloody Mary Day!” What better way to recover from the raucousness of the night before than having a little bit of the “hair of the dog that bit you” the next day? Photo via Baking with Basil
Davon Hatchett, head shot, column mug

Happy 2014!! Ooh, I’m sorry, did I type that too loud? If so, perhaps it’s because you may have partied just a little (Ok, a ton) too much and you over-indulged a bit (OK, a lot) in the celebratory "cocktailing" on New Year’s Eve.

But guess what? Last night’s celebration was yesterday’s booze news, and today is a brand new day and year. It’s Jan. 1st, which means it’s “National Bloody Mary Day!” What better way to recover from the raucousness of the night before than having a little bit of the “hair of the dog that bit you” the next day?

 With the exquisite Bloody Mary offerings the city already has, it would almost be just plain criminal to not get one prepared for you. 

You could make your own Bloody Mary at home, but the cocktail has a reputation for being a complex drink to make. Do you really want to expend the few, precious, quasi-sober brain cells you have at the moment trying to figure out how to make a drink properly? Of course you don’t.

With the exquisite Bloody Mary offerings the city already has, it would almost be just plain criminal to not get one prepared for you. While some of these spots only serve their Bloody Marys on Sundays, if you celebrated hard enough on New Year’s Eve you might not be able to drag your carcass out of bed until then anyway.

Whatever your current soberness level is, be sure to check these places out when you’re ready for a Mary:

Haven: Known for locally sourcing high-quality ingredients (which includes a garden located on the restaurant’s grounds), it should come as no surprise that Haven creates a Bloody Mary with their own mix and pickled okra, both made in-house. Add to your drinking pleasure by enjoying the cocktail at Cove Raw Bar inside Haven, and have some fresh, raw oysters as an accompaniment.

Lowbrow: Although the term “lowbrow” is normally associated with being not highly cultured, the restaurant Lowbrow is anything but. And with roots in Charleston, S.C. lowcountry cuisine, the restaurant's house-made mix used for the Bloody Mary will convince you of exactly that. It’s also served everyday (or “whenever the hankering hits” as stated by one of the staff).

Brick & Spoon: Bloody Mary connoisseurs unite: Brick & Spoon has a menu that will make you practically squeal with delight. To start with, the “Big Spoon” Bloody Mary menu has over 10 vodka options so you can truly indulge your particular brand predilections. The garnishments are a veritable plethora of delights including well over a dozen fruits and veggies; a variety of meats and cheeses; 2 eggs options; and a range of herbs, such as wasabi, tarragon and tabasco habanero. When is it served? Every. Single. Day.

Mojeaux’s Louisiana Drinkery: Any establishment with “Louisiana Drinkery” in the name has got to have an awesome Bloody Mary. Mojeaux’s starts theirs off with Ultimate Vodka and a homemade Bloody Mary mix. Then things get really interesting. The glass is then garnished with a breakfast sausage slider; large boiled shrimp; olives; cheddar cheese; and a Slim Jim. Hangover cure in a glass, anyone? $18.00, Sundays Only.

Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen: If there’s a more unique Bloody Mary Houston, I don’t know where it could be. The “Bloody Danton” eschews the traditional tomato based mix and instead uses the house gumbo (strained of course) as the base. Gumbo. Generously spiked with vodka. What’s not to love?

Beaver’s: The wonderfully unconventional and quirky Beaver’s has their own unique twist on the traditional Bloody Mary, called a “Beaver Mary.” The tomato juice they use is infused with garlic, wasabi, and “bruised celery.” Then they add a dash of Big Daddy’s hot sauce for a nice, peppery kick.

When you really want to go for the gusto, wait for the Sunday brunch. Beaver’s has a specialty Mary menu (served Sundays only) that includes a bacon-infused vodka Bloody Mary served with candied bacon; a tequila and chipotle Mary for those who want to swap out vodka; and a new Green Mary. Ask bar manager Mike (who created the Green Mary) to whip one up for you and you’ll get a glass of green goodness that includes tomatillos, cucumber, green tomatoes (which, by the way, are not the same as tomatillos), cilantro, and a bit of ginger for bite instead of the usual horseradish.

Home mix

If you just absolutely must make your own Bloody Mary at home, why not get a little epicurean with it? Forget the pre-made, bottled mixes and try Stu’s “This is Bloody Mary” concentrate, which bills itself as the “secret serum to concocting the perfect Bloody Mary at home.” Since the concentrate is made of homemade pickle brine and spices without tomato, you can create the perfect flavor level that suits you: just add your ideal amount of tomato juice and vodka and you’re ready to roll.

 I like to take it up several notches. In addition to vodka, I also add a splash of champagne.  

If you want to take it up a notch, order Stu’s “Bloody Mary Mixology Kit.” The kit contains 2 bottles of concentrate; contains Key lime juice to moisten the rim of your glass; “Sweet Corn Rimmer” (made with crushed sweet corn, celery salt, and Chesapeake Bay seasoning ) to garnish the rim; and a tincture made of ghost hot pepper sauce to make things spicy.

As for myself, I like to take it up several notches. In addition to vodka (with the self-proclaimed moniker of “The Bubbleista”), I also add a splash of champagne. And then, being the sybarite that I am, I luxuriously garnish it with 2 tender-crisp asparagus stalks; a cherry tomato and Buffalo mozzarella skewer; and — the ultimate — a chilled, steamed, shell-on lobster tail.

It’s a wonderful way to kick-off 2014! Well, once you sober up a bit, that is.

Do you have a favorite place for Bloody Mary's that we missed? Tell us in Comments section below.

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