It is hard to declare a single food item "the best," but we're pretty sure about this one. The Bloody Best, from The Nook restaurant in Atlanta has everything a hungover brunch-goer could ask for in a 32 ounce glass. Here's how the restaurant describes it:
...This beast boasts 8 oz. of Absolut Peppar vodka mixed with a special Bloody Mary mix. Then we garnish it with pepperoncinis, jalapenos, Tots, steak, a slice of toast, and a hard-boiled egg. Served with a Beef Straw to drink from (not kidding). This monster is amazing!
The image has been floating around the internet this week, though UrbanDaddy was on the insane bloody mary scene way back in March, and they immediately knew it was something big. "What we’re about to tell you may very well change your life forever," UrbanDaddy says. The writer also describe it as "horrifyingly magnificent." Indeed, it is.
We're glad that people are getting on the beef straw wagon -- when else is there an excuse to drink from a meat straw then when you're imbibing from a massive brunch cocktail?
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Obviously, this is a major part of any Bloody Mary Bar. We prefer straight up tomato juice to pre-made mixes, but definitely feel free to play around with V8, Clamato or other tomato-based concoctions. <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/liberato/148947303/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">liber</a></em>
Most people have only had a Bloody Mary made with vodka. While tradition is fine, we prefer ours made with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-sachs/best-bourbons-kentucky-derby_b_558638.html" target="_hplink">bourbon</a> or gin (we know it sounds crazy, but one taste will make you a believer). Have a range of liquors on hand to experiment with and don't be afraid to throw in a curveball like aquavit. <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/grepsy/6913717451/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">grepsy</a></em>
Obviously salt and black pepper are a must in any Bloody Mary. We also like to have celery salt, chile powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika on hand. Also, we can't leave out the liquid flavor bomb itself - Worcestershire Sauce. <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/islandgyrl/6923468576/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Chrissy Olson</a></em>
The importance of citrus in a Bloody Mary can not be under-stated. It just has to be there, preferably lots of it. Be sure to have plenty of lemon and lime wedges ready for squeezing. <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ksayer/5452373606/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Ksayer1</a></em>
Never leave out the horseradish, but also mix it up with other choices -- wouldn't wasabi be fantastic in a Bloody Mary? We also like to have a range of hot sauces on hand: from Tabasco to Sriracha, Cholula to Frank's Red Hot (we really love hot sauce). <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/5480665570/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Steve Snodgrass</a></em>
A celery stalk is traditional, but we also think a cool cucumber spear has its place in a Bloody. Carrot sticks, a zucchini spear, we could go on forever. Also (we know it's really a fruit) a toothpick with a few avocado cubes on it would be lovely. <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/preppybyday/5076908724/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">TheCulinaryGeek</a></em>
Lots of Bloody Drinkers like a dill pickle speared into their cocktail, but don't stop there! Green olives, pickled greenbeans, okra, carrots, caperberries -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/gails-spicy-bloody-mary-_n_1059835.html" target="_hplink">anything you can pickle</a> tastes delicious in a Bloody Mary (KIMCHI, guys). True pickle lovers also like to add a shot of pickle juice to their tomato base.
Okay -- we're getting into experimental territory here. Milwaukee's <a href="http://www.thecometcafe.com/" target="_hplink">The Comet Cafe</a> famously serves their Bloody Mary with a bacon swizzle, and we like their style. Or order up some of these crazy <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/beef-jerky-straws_n_1776131.html" target="_hplink">beef jerky straws</a> and watch your friends freak out.
Want some serious wow-factor on your bar? Spear some <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/bloody-mary-with-shrimp_n_1049218.html" target="_hplink">small cooked shrimp on toothpicks</a>, or even a raw, pickled, or smoked oyster. Seafood is a great complement to the flavors in a Bloody Mary, and it will help reveal which of your friends are the most adventurous eaters.
It's no secret that we love cheese, why keep it out of our Bloody Mary Bar? A toothpick with a cube of aged cheddar goes perfectly with your bacon swizzle stick. Want to get REALLY fancy? Rest a <a href="http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/diaryofafoodie/2007/01/fricos" target="_hplink">Parmesan frico</a> atop your glass for a crunchy snack between sips.
In some places, it's traditional to serve a beer sidecar with your Bloody Mary for refreshing in-between sips. If you can't find adorable shortie-sized bottles, just line up a few small juice glasses on the bar and divvy them up! <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/erikkristensen/6174581561/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Erik Cleves Kristensen</a></em>