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Looking for best Bloody Mary

Just seeing if people have opinions on this. It's a potentially complex enough recipe that I'd imagine there's some variations on the theme.

For the record, I don't have an opinion on this yet -- I'm a cocktail aficionado, but many years ago I tried spicy V8, hated it, and associated it strongly with Bloody Marys as that's the way my grandmother made them! Since then I've grown to like both spicy food and tomatoes, so I'm looking to give one a try... but I'd like to try a *good* one, so I can be reasonably sure that if I still don't like it, it's not because it was prepared badly. :)

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  1. I am partial to "the Woody" at Wood Tavern. It's a large, spicy Bloody Mary w/ lots of horseradish served w/ a Spaten chaser. In fact, your post has inspired me to go there for lunch today.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lexdevil

      Wood Tavern's definitely a favorite of mine as well. Also like Sea Salt's version (with clam juice and chipotle hangar one) and Luka's (balsamic bloody mary).

    2. Zuni Cafe.

      Just don't order the nectarine for dessert.

      (sorry, couldn't resist :-)). Seriously, if you don't like the Zuni Bloody Mary you just don't like the drink.

      -----
      Zuni Cafe
      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

      4 Replies
      1. re: susancinsf

        I second Zuni Cafe...their amazing tomato juice and balsamic vinegar are their secret weapons! I also think that Eastside West makes a great bloody mary.

        1. re: christineb

          Don't forget the shallots (or red onion, I'm not sure) - they add a depth and complexity that other spicy Bloodys lack. Zuni has my #1 favorite Bloody Mary by far.

          1. re: christineb

            I third the Zuni bloody mary. We will often stop by there just for these. The teeny minced shallots/red onion and the balsamic are great touches.

          2. re: susancinsf

            I have to disagree. It's way too thin, boring, and totally inconsistent. I've never gotten any shallots or red onions in my Bloody there.

            I highly recommend the Bloody Mary at Kilowatt on 16th Street, but the very best in the city is the Harissa Bloody Mary at Aziza, hands down.

          3. The first great Bloody Mary I had was at K-Paul's in New Orleans. It had tiny pickled onions in it and a giant flourish of celery.

            In San Francisco, Slow Club makes an excellent Bloody Mary with jalapeƱo (or are those scotch bonnets?) vodka. Zeitgeist's isn't too shabby either.

            The quality of tomato juice is a significant variable, and cheap canned tomato juice is horriible, as is "spicy tomato mix." Many places use too much water and vodka, so you end up with a diluted mess.

            1. Hurleys in Yountville made a pretty darn good one when I was there last week. Being from Vancouver BC we're all Ceaser lovers. No tomato juice but clamato juice in our drinks. Bit of worceshire, tabasco, vodka, celery salt on the rim and long bean for garnish over ice. yum..

              3 Replies
              1. re: dcrockett

                Bloody Ceasers all the way baby. Just wish more Bay Area restaurants served 'em!

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  I LOVE Cloody Ceasars too. The only place I have found them in the Bay Area has been The Ramp and at various hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants. Where are your favorite places to get a good spicy Bloody Ceasar?

                  1. re: plainjane

                    Gosh, it has been so long, I can't even rember! IIRC, the Cliff House and Hungry Hunter of all places did nice jobs. I pretty much go the way of dcrockett these days and make my own, A good citrus flavored vodka, dash of tobasco, a splash of worceshire, celery salt, cracked pepper, maybe a lime wedge, and a garnish of choice.

              2. Great Topic!!! I love Bloody Mary's. From my memory - Fifth Floor has a pretty good one with great pickled veg they do in house. The one at Beetlenut is great but has an asian twist on it. Its on the spicier side but still wonderful.