<b>DINING OUT | </b>By Mina Williams Herald writer
Like directions to Carnegie Hall, everyone has an opinion on what recipe makes the best Bloody Mary and where you can get a perfectly balanced beverage.
The popular cocktail, which some say should be served on every breakfast table, blends vodka, tomato juice and some spices.
It is the creative spices and the must-have garnishes that trick out the drink, taking it from a nice beverage to a memorable moment. Often Worcestershire sauce, piri piri sauce, hot sauce and horseradish are used to kick up the drink a notch. A drop or two of consommé or bouillon brings an earthy flavor while black pepper, cayenne pepper, celery salt and lemon juice add a decided edge.
On the garnish side, restaurants are adding Bloody Mary bars during festive brunches. Patrons can pour their choice of spiced tomato juice blend into pre-measured vodka in a salted glass, then doll it up with a range of vegetables using a salad bar-style variety of ingredients. Celery stalks, a variety of green olives stuffed with classic pimento or heady blue cheese, lemon wedges, carrot sticks, pickled beans and asparagus all lead diners to create a mini meal in a glass.
While Americans generally enjoy classic Bloody Marys, cuisines around the world have taken to putting their own geographic spin on this classic cocktail, offering up gin- and tequila-inspired Bloody Marys.
“The wonderful thing about the Bloody Mary is that there is no right or wrong way to make them,” says Demitri Pallis, founder of Seattle-based Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning. “For this reason we have seen different countries, and even regions, make their own variations on the libation. For instance, you can easily substitute the spirit, or even the juice, in a Bloody Mary, but by keeping the same seasoning base you will have a spicy and savory cocktail every time.”
Demitri’s favorites from around the world include one mixed with tequila and lime for a South of the Border flair, a Canadian version replacing tomato juice with Clamato juice, and a Great Britain version with gin filling in for vodka.
Whatever the combination used for the libation, mornings will never be the same.
Where do you find the best Bloody Mary? What is the secret flavor that keeps you craving more?
When I’m back in Chicago, I go to Tilted Kilts — theirs are made with Guinness. At home, I drink Karen’s Blood Marys at Dino’s Pub.
It’s a tradition. Blood Marys Sunday morning at Dino’s Pub.
Ivar’s in Mukilteo makes a great Bloody Mary.
Quite honestly, the very best are in your liquor cabinet at home.
Arnie’s in Mukilteo has the best Bloody Marys. They are made from scratch.
Salty’s on Alki does a great job. They have a Bloody Mary bar at weekend brunch times. You pick your mix and add the garnishes like a salad bar.
Brave Horse Tavern in South Lake Union has handcrafted Bloody Marys. They even have pickled Prosser Farm vegetables and serve them with a l’il Oly beer chaser.
La Casa Azul on the Shoreline/Seattle border has great Bloody Marys with a dash of Cholula hot sauce they become Bloody Marias.