She’s been called the hair of the dog, the day drink, the weekend brunch must-have, and deemed the cocktail queen of the month for January. Rich, spicy and tomato punchy, the chilled and refreshing bloody mary is classy but a little sassy, with garnishes that have evolved from a celery stick to cheese, bacon, pickled okra and more. Here’s the sip on three proud marys found in Texas.
SLEEK SIP IN HOUSTON
Belvedere Bloody Mary vodka, a maceration of black pepper, horseradish, bell pepper, chili pepper, vinegar, tomato and lemon in premium vodka, is the star player at the Quattro bloody mary bar each weekend at the Four Seasons hotel in Houston. Its small yet elegant bar includes Texas-made Tito’s vodka plus every kind of seasoning spice you could dream up—smoked salt, cayenne, and a special black pepper mix. Top your libation with bacon, celery sticks, assorted olives, Tabasco, horseradish, various hot sauces and Worcestershire. The best part is the spicy homemade tomato juice, so perfectly balanced it needs nothing. Bloody marys are included in the most elaborate brunch in town. From crab legs and caviar, to prime roast, hot pasta, cheese and charcuterie, and salads galore, the food stations should all be experienced. Whatever you do, come thirsty.
BLOODY MARY ZONE IN DALLAS
Ozona Grill & Bar sports an incredible 24-foot bloody mary bar every weekend. Many Dallasites leave their appetite at home and come solely for the custom-made bloody marys. The drill: a server brings your liquor of choice over ice. Belly up to the bar and choose from six different bottled mixers for your base, including a house made tomato juice blend. Spice that up with a selection of 30 hot sauces, fresh horseradish, cayenne, celery salt or the signature french fry spice. Choose from a full buffet of over 30 edibles including celery sticks, delicious pickled green beans or okra, carrots, avocado, pickles, bacon, pico de gallo, olives, cheese chunks and fresh cilantro. “Most guests choose Tito’s vodka and the ‘older folks’ like gin for their bloody marys,” says general manager Andria Miles. She prefers tequila in hers, topped with pico. Now that’s the spirit!
SOUTHERN CHARMER IN AUSTIN
The Southern Bloody at Lucy’s Fried Chicken is just what every southern gent and belle thirsts for. No need to make any decisions about tomato mix, spices or toppings. Lucy’s has a tried and true brew, fresh for the ready that keeps Austinites coming back for more. The secret is Clamato juice, a refreshing classic mix of tomato, celery, onion, spices, citrus and a touch of clam juice. The spiced up concoction fortified with Dripping Springs Texas Vodka is simply garnished with Lucy’s pickled okra and other veggies, fresh bell peppers, horseradish and a salt and spice rim for perfection in a big fat Pilsner glass. Add a fresh lime squeeze and pair it with woodgrilled oysters or a bucket of deluxe crispy fried chicken and Texas caviar—and you’re in brunch heaven.