Have you ever had a Bloody Mary? The name alone would have some people exploring other options. Count me in as one of those folks. However, my curiosity led me to eventually take a closer look at this popular breakfast/brunch cocktail. On a Caribbean cruise some years ago, I saw a bartender making them by the pitcher. Let's just say I quickly lost my appetite but hey!... I'm on vacation so, what the hell, I took a taste. It was the last time I ever looked at or even thought about the Bloody Mary, other than reminding myself that it's the most horrible cocktail ever created. So when they started cranking out pitchers of Bloody Mary and Mimosas at 7:30 in the morning, well you can easily guess the color of the drink in my hand.
Fast-forward 25 year later, it's 7:30 AM and I'm at Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead (don't judge me). I'm with a few Barclays Premier League fanatics to watch my beloved Manchester City take on some blokes from Tottenham (sorry, my British accent just popped out of nowhere). Anyway, I digress. So my boy Russell is behind the bar as usual, pouring some of the best coffee I've ever tasted, and I don't really like coffee. The bar is virtually empty of course, so Russell decides to treat the guys to a Bloody Mary, on the house. Well, who am I to refuse and disrespect Russell's hospitality. So he's whipping up the Mary's by the glass and I'm keeping one eye on him and one on the ball going back and forth on the flat screen. I know there's tomato stuff and other not so appetizing ingredients going into this drink and I know I have to drink whatever he puts in front of me (did I mention Russell is Irish? Every Englishman knows you don't piss off the Irish, especially in their house).
So the Bloody Mary is sitting in front of me for several minutes as I work up the courage to taste the nastiest sh*t ever put in a glass. It even has green olives and I find green olives absolutely horrid. Eventually I take a timid taste of this dreadful concoction and ... WOW! DAYUM!... it's flipping amazing. Every sip tasted better than the previous one and the first one was damn good. Before I knew it, the sips were happening faster than my yells at the flat screen (the blind referee missed yet another obvious foul on Aguero). Sorry, I digress again. I drained that glass to the grains of pepper and the nasty green olive on the bottom. It was an unbelievable experience, a paradigm shift of sorts on my palate. So what made Russell's Bloody Mary in a whole other league than the cruise ship's? I mentioned this to Russell and he just gave me a sheepish smirk and walked away. He wouldn't give it up, clearly I missed something. Several weeks later I made it my mission to watch him make it, so I ordered one and everything he did was similar to what I've seen but right at the very end, he did something only an Irishman would do to a Bloody Mary. He added a splash of... wait for it... GUINNESS!
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