I have been a bartender for many, many moons, and I have concocted some of the most delicious cocktails. I made many savory drinks including cucumber, basil, all kinds of yummy stuff. Savory drinks have the best of both worlds, alcohol and food! I do have to admit that I’ve never made a Bloody Mary that’s out of the ordinary, I always used bottled Bloody Mary mix, some of it actually pretty delicious. The reason is probably that I always worked at night, and and this spicy delicacy is generally a Brunch drink. Which means I hat a lot of them. A lot. Below you find some of New York’s finest Bloody Marys, which I personally think you should give a taste! (*the one in the picture above is actually from Belga Cafe in Washington DC, and it has celery foam on top, amazing!)
Saxon & Parole
Saxon & Parole is located in the Bowery, and when it comes to Bloody Marys, they let you decide how it should taste! During Brunch hours the Bloody Mary Bar has you choose whatever your heart desires to concoct your perfect Hair of the Dog. I happened to visit in the afternoon, and a knowledgeable bartender with the sweetest French accent made me a Bloody Mary with housemade garlic infused vodka, tomato-vegetable juice with Aleppo salt on the rim. Amazing. So. Brunch or not, Bloody Marys here are top notch.
JG Melon is located on the Upper Eastside, and has been a mainstay since 1972. Known for its amazing burger and for being uncompromisingly set in their traditional ways, they have also managed to come up with one of the best Bloody Mays in the city. It looks ordinary, but don’t let it fool you. Filled with vodka, beef broth (which lends it the name Bloody Bull), and housemade tomato juice mix. Topped off with a lime, you are sure to enjoy this treat any time of the day!
Bar Sardine is located in the West Village, a cute little place with awesome staff. Here I had the Green (Bay) Bloody Mary made with Chile Vodka, and instead of tomato juice, they top it off with tomatillo juice, much to my delight. Not only do I love the way it looks, but I love tomatillos. Some cucumber and hot sauce seals the deal, and in Green Bay Wisconsin tradition, it is served with a small glass of beer on the side. Totally awesome!!
The Wren is also located in the Bowery, a popular area these days! This spot has been recognized for having some of the best savory cocktails in NYC and beyond. Of course their Bloody Marys are mostly served during Brunch (their selections is sizable!),, but with a little luck one of the well read bartenders will make you one in the evening. I had the Canadian, which is made with housemade Aquavit, Clamato, dill and cucumber. It has an extra light flavor to it, and I guzzled it down in a hurry. Lovely.
Bar Bacon is located on the Upper Westside, and as the name suggests this place is all about bacon. You already know on some level that you undoubtedly will get a great Bloody Mary here, unless you’re a vegetarian! The Bacon Bloody is made with bacon vodka, homemade Bloody Mary mix, and is garnished with (of course) bacon. It’s a must try!
Mother’s Ruin is located on Spring Street downtown. It’s a popular and lively bar that is known for its delicious bites and snacks and their extensive knowledge of gins and gin cocktails. But make no mistake about it, their Bloody Mary has made some waves. Compiled with seemingly traditional ingredients, the addition of Old Bay seasoning, Cholua Hot Sauce and celery seed made this brunch drink stand out. It’s available any time of the day, so don’t wake up early to go get it!
The Lobster Joint
The Lobster Joint is located in Brooklyn, so sometimes you have to travel a bit to get that good stuff. Unless you live in Brooklyn of course. I visited their location in Greenpoint, and this place is set up like a New England beach bar, rustic and casual. They offer a few different Bloody Marys, but their show stopper is the Lobster Claw Bloody Mary. Delicious and traditional, it is garnished with all the fixings and an actual lobster claw. It’s tasty and fun, and worth an Uber if you’re in Manhattan!