6 Drink Experts Share Their Favorite Bloody Mary Garnishes


A Bloody Mary is a garnish leveled with a little lemon and olives, perhaps a celery stalk or pickles. Kushiyaki was born. Shrimp cocktail, fried chicken, sometimes mini sliders and oysters wrapped in bacon. We’ve seen it all by now, but with the once understated Bloody Mary, a bigger, more flamboyant presentation is almost to be expected.

Six drink experts share their favorite garnishes on National Bloody Mary Day. Whether they’re simple, classic, or the best, the reasons behind them are all genuine and worthy of admiration (no reaction to social media frenzy among them).

play with classic flavors

“My favorites are the Old Bay Salt rims, the bunches of lovage, and the Robusto Cube skewers. [cheese], caperberries, gooseberries and Castelvetrano olives,” says Lou Charbonneau, Beverage Director at Hecate. Charbonneau describes Old Bay Limb as “making the bloody sing”, Lovage offers a more concentrated celery flavor (with a very subtle anise in the back), and Robusto Cheese brings out its sharp, nutty flavor. Complementing such savory notes, caperberries are “tangy, the acid and salt we all crave”, while gooseberries are replaced by lemons to “ensure a whole wedge of fruit on the rim of the glass that is precariously unbalanced”. A pop of acid”, and finally, “crispy, meaty, slightly buttery, just right” Castelvetrano olives have that vibrancy and great texture. ”

lean to flavorful

At Mr. Mao in New Orleans, head bartender Juan Cardona makes Bloody Mao—vodka, pureed kimchi, and ginseng mixed with a salt and vinegar rim, served with dehydrated kimchi and fried shrimp chips. According to Mister Mao’s chef and owner Sophia Wong, the dried kimchi looks cool, crunchy and is a super umami bomb. Using shrimp chips as a garnish reinforces the message, “There’s seafood in this bloody!” ”

Get Local

Oliver Wilcher, Director of Restaurant Services at Reynolds Lake Oconee said: “Softshell His club’s season runs along the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida (April through October, sometimes early November). Softies are considered a Southern seafood delicacy.”

Veggie It Up

“Okra, green beans, obviously spicy, but carrots and onions are all great bloody dishes. Justin Sugarman, Director of Food and Beverage at Belt New Orleans. “Here at The Sazerac Bar, we add pickled okra for a more tropical vibe. It makes you feel like you’re eating!”

stuffed with olives

“There’s nothing quite like blue cheese-stuffed olives,” says Alexis Ward, Bacardi portfolio specialist and bartender at The Pub. “Blue cheese stuffed olives with basil leaves and slices of prosciutto (on a skewer) – insert the chef’s kiss! Whether it’s a hot dirty martini or a Bloody Mary, snack with cocktails.” I love to eat it, especially when it’s a dog hairy day and I can’t eat it right away.

don’t forget the spices

In New York City, Dante’s director of beverage training, Renato Marco Tonelli, shares that Bloody Mary garnishes should always be unique to the bar they serve. Tonelli explains: The centerpiece of the whole garnish is skewered pickles, cherry tomatoes and pickled chili peppers, a savory snack that pairs perfectly with drinks. But for me, the biggest advantage of this garnish is the final touch of freshly grated horseradish for aroma and spice. The “one minute” grate of horseradish sets this Bloody Mary apart from all other garnishes. ”



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