Public demand for cocktails, much like fashion trends, are cyclical, and this year the Bloody Mary has come back with a vengeace.
A few years back, with the rising popularity of AMC's Mad Men, just about everybody and their mother had rediscovered rye whiskey in general, and the 'Old Fashioned' in particular. In 2014, people are putting aside their bottles of Pigwhistle and heading back to the vodka cabinet. With the resurgence of Bloody Mary's popularity, it seems as if most folks are looking to put a little fire in their bellies.
And this time around, they're getting creative.
For example, in Austin Texas, an innovative group of drink artisans launched the Bloody Revolution line of Bloody Mary mixers, with 5 different flavors: Habanero, Pickle Zing, Ribeye, Wasabi Ginger, and Original for purists. Recently, bloggers from the Houston Press sampled all five (insanely enough, they tried this experiment without vodka). The HP taste testers raved about some, and then described one as "a stomach scrambler... (with) top notes of savory dirt."
Meanwhile, in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, the Minnesota Twins ballpark concession stands recently unveiled their cyclopean version of a Bloody Mary, complete with an entire bacon cheeseburger as part of its garnish.
The above image was posted on the Minnesota Twins Twitter page, along with the cringe-inducing hashtag pun; #TalkAboutAHomeYum
The Minnesota Twins ball park bacon cheeseburger Bloody Mary should ostensibly rank somewhere between a week's worth of HMO health coverage and a cross-country bus ticket, in terms of its actual price.
Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the north, in Chicago Illinois, just walk into any one of a hundred different bars and you can find yourself a Bloody Mary with anything from oysters, to bacon, to oysters wrapped in bacon, to a wedge of meatloaf, or for those who are willing to throw all caution to the wind, an entire Viennese Chicago-Style hot dog, just wedged on in there with the vodka and tomato juice, and whatever else. Redeye Chicago posted this fairly comprehensive list of some of the most over-the-top Bloody Mary combos available in the Windy City, and where to find them.
In New York City, however, the traditional style Bloody Mary still reigns supreme. Recently, bartenders from all over the 5 Boroughs threw down at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo's "Bloody Mary Mix-Down" competition. Edging out some of the swankiest 5-star bartenders in all of Manhattan was Sean McAuliffe, a 27 year old bartender who works at Daddy O's BBQ in Staten Island. Daddy-O's is a combination barbecue joint/sports bar, catering mostly to Staten Island's blue collar citizens.
Upon recieving his award, McAuliffe had this to say:
"I've watched Bloody Mary's being made since I was a kid at my parents bowling alley, Victory Lanes... I'm told often at Daddy O's BBQ I make a pretty good Bloody Mary, this just solidifies it."