Weird and Wonderful Bloody Marys

Forget just celery and lemon; today’s Blood Marys are global and gargantuan

We are certain that you’ll find few drinks that are as flexible as good old Bloody Mary.

Whether it’s a favorite hangover remedy, a post-party pick-me-up, or aSunday brunch staple, the classic Bloody Mary has been the darling of cocktail enthusiasts since its creation, apparently in the 1920s and probably in Paris.

Bloody Marys are swell because they have a lot going on in the glass. Anyone with a modestly stocked home bar can whip up a decent version — but not before they learn the basics first, like how to nail the recipe’s balance between pungent horseradish, lip-smacking tomatoey acidity, and satisfying umami flavor.[slideshow:

Weird and Wonderful Bloody Marys (Slideshow)

Beyond that…Well, we are certain that you’ll find few drinks that are as flexible as good old Mary; she’s kind of a chameleon cocktail. One minute she’s a chica with a spicy Mexican accent from south of the border, the next she’s a charming Southern belle with a penchant for replacing vodka with bourbon and a devil-may-care attitude; she can also surprise you with her come-hither exotic South Asian flavors. Despite greatly exaggerated claims by obsessed fans, however, the Bloody Mary, no matter how many garnishes are added to it, probably does not meet recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables.

Bloody Elixir

Photo Credit: Flickr/Sam Cox

This Bloody Mary verison gets its name from Elixir, a neighborhood saloon in San Francisco whose owner, H. Joseph Ehrmann, specializes in hand-crafted cocktails. While this Mary was born on the West Coast, we think it should be the Chesapeake region’s Bloody mascot. To get the spicy flavors just right, be sure to rim the glass with Old Bay Seasoning and don’t leave out the Elixir Juice and dried dill or you won’t truly experience Bloody nirvana. For a more Chesapeake-style garnish, stab a freshly fried oyster, lemon wedge, and dill pickle onto a wooden skewer.

Gotham Mary

Photo Credit: Flickr/JillG

A few years back, Chef Jose Garces, developed 10 “globally-inspired” Mary recipes for Renaissance Hotels and the Gotham Mary is a clear, golden-hued beauty dedicated to one of New York City’s most iconic foods: the everything bagel. We think it’s the Bloody Mary to serve for breakfast/brunch with your favorite bagel, lox, and cream cheese — but forget about a sliced tomato: there’s tomato water for that. Trust us, the savory, nutty flavors of sesame seeds and poppy seeds on the rim of the glass will clinch it.