Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide - Austin's Best Bloody Marys



Once upon a time, I referred to bloody marys as "cold, alcoholic soup." I now know much, much better. Bloody marys are my favorite weekend drink--the spicier, the better! And if they double as the brunch itself? Home. friggin. run.


Casino el Camino - This bloody mary is a meal in and of itself. Various nibbles (taquito, chicken slider, pig in a blanket, meatball, various pickled items, and more...) are stuck on skewers in the middle of the drink. You can pick your spice level on a scale of 1-10, with 5 being the start of the habanero spice. I have a fair heat tolerance and a 5 was right on the cusp of being too much for me, so take caution. Extra points: even if you get this drink mid-week, you'll still get all the accompanying snacks. All in all, a delicious bloody mary experience!

Rio Rita's - This East 6th bar is one of my favorites. While I've never had the bloody marys here, I know their infused-cocktail game is strong. Their bloody marys come in three levels: regular, jalapeno, and habanero. All house-infused.


Lucy's Fried Chicken - While I have mixed feelings about the chicken, I was extremely impressed with Lucy's bloody mary. Anywhere that makes their own mix is significantly cooler than a bottled-juice joint, that's a no-brainer. Spicy house made bloody mix with Clamato, horseradish, and hot sauce with homemade pickled veggies make this a slightly spicy bloody worth pairing with your chicken and waffles.

Frank - Bacon. Infused. Vodka. Need I say more? Okay, I will. Homemade bloody mix with a crazy depth of flavor, and they're not stingy on the toppings. Plus it has a cute name: "Red Headed Stranger." I love the cocktails at Frank, and the bloody mary is no exception, and is a great way to combat the sweetness of their drool-worthy French toast.

Image via the Star Bar Instagram
Star Bar - I have heard of the famous Hail Mary, which is more food than drink, but when I've tried to see it for myself the bar has been closed. According to Facebook, the Hail Mary made its grand return to Star Bar on Superbowl Sunday. If legend is to be believed, this epic bloody contains the following: an hot dog, lil’ smokies, bacon, shrimp, onion rings, hamburger slider, chicken nuggets, deviled egg, crab, pickled okra, tomatoes, pepperoni, pepper jack cheese, and a cinnamon roll. If you try it, do let me know.

South Congress Cafe - As with everything at this classy cafe, the tomato juice is fresh. They use pepper-inflused Tito's for a balanced spice. I haven't had this bloody myself, but multiple sources call it the "best ever" so it's gotta be good. Not heavy on the toppings, as other entries on this list are, but a clean and solid bloody for your classy brunch.



Swift's Attic - Swift's wins for the best do-it-yourself bloody mary bar in town. A few restaurants do the build-your-own schtick, but Swift's goes a step beyond with high quality ingredients. No shelf-stable bacon here! A side of bacon will run you $6, so you know it's legit here, and you'll see that fancy bacon as an accoutrement in the DIY bar. Various pickled things and stuffed olives, as well as cheese and some sort of fancy beef stick are also available to put into your drink. Two types of thick tomato mix are provided as well. I had a ton of fun putting as much into my bloody as possible, and the result was utterly delicious.

Alamo Drafthouse - How can you ensure you get a table for brunch in a timely manner? Buy a ticket. Alamo's bloody mary is heavy on the wasabi. While you can't quite SEE it (put your phone away!) the flavor packs a punch. Since the heat is wasabi, it burns quick and clean and is perfectly balanced by the tomato juice.

Bonus: Cheap Sunday Kickbutt Coffee special. It's a simple bloody--just a shot and some mix, maybe some olives if the bartender is feeling generous--but it's only $3 on Sundays! The only better deal is the $2 bloodies at La Condesa, but those require a sit down meal and a bit of a wait during brunch hours.



Where is your favorite place to get a bloody mary in Austin?

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