“Guys, you have to stop. Even I think this is starting to get out of hand.”
~AFFotD Editor-In-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt
Back in 2012, we sent our staff across the country to track down the most inventive Bloody Marys in America. The reasons behind this should be readily apparent. After all, Bloody Marys are delicious, they encourage day drinking, and they help take the edge off after especially rough visits from the weekend hangover doctor. We were able to find Bloodies that ranged from the decadent and extreme (garnished with ½ a pound of lobster, or with a ¼ of a bacon cheeseburger, for example) to strange and futuristic (Bloody Mary bites?) but all in all, looking back on it, the fact that “using pepper-infused tequila instead of vodka” was enough for us to consider it “crazy” and “cutting edge” is pretty cute. Oh how naive we once we, how innocent. That’s because those past few years have seen the Bloody Mary go from “happy morning drunk juice with some celery or pickles and maybe a hunk of sausage to nibble on while you drink” to “insane carnival concoction that, oh sure we guess this full meal on a stick is going to be precariously bobbing up and down in some tomato juice and booze, but honestly look we stuck a whole fucking slider on there now pay us $10.”
With “absurd Bloody Marys” officially becoming the latest arms race in American excess and awesomeness, we’ve decided to sort through the contenders for the most insane Bloody Marys in recent history if for no other reason than to show how far we’ve evolved since that moment two years ago where “a gin Bloody Mary garnished with shrimp” was something we reported about with breathless excitement, as opposed to now where we see such things and offer a jaded, “well, that’s a pretty tasty way to get drunk enough to make your Monday hard to get through.” Because why just get day drunk when you can get day drunk while playing a complex game of Jenga with dozens of skewered food stuffs?
America’s Newest Insane Bloody Marys
We live in a society where you can start a company based entirely around catering events with physics-defying Bloody Marys that are garnished with literally dozens of deep-fried ingredients, such as Wild & Crazy Gourmet Bloody Marys who created the above concoction (yes that’s a key lime pie chunk above one slider, right by the three shrimp) as part of an NCAA Final Four Bloody Mary article this past year, and while you’re not going to find that Bloody at your local bar, it’s both an impressive and terrifying testament to American liquor engineering that these giant cumbersome monstrosities aren’t really that insane when compared to some honest-to-God Bloody Marys that you can get in American bars where the overworked bartenders are really ready for this gimmick to run its course, but until then, you can go out and spend $60 on a Bloody Mary, while justifying it away by saying something like, “But look how crazy it is! So crazy!”
The $60 Checkmake
We know this is technically Canadian, but part of the reason why everyone loves us is that we, as a country, can appreciate incredible and insane things done by other countries. And if that country is close to us, or talks like us, we have no problem assuming they just want to be us. So when Vancouver’s Score on Davie made the Checkmate, a $60 Bloody Mary with more garnishes than common sense, we feel the need to condescendingly pat them on the head and say, “Good job, you did a very good job at being American. We know you did this to impress us, and it worked.” And that is why every Canadian loves America and thinks we’re just the greatest. Someday you’ll make it out here, you crazy Canucks, either through hockey prowess or the ability to be Seth Rogan. This drink is technically a “Bloody Caesar” which is Canada’s adorable attempt to differentiate themselves from us by making good things taste worse. The main difference between a Bloody Caesar and Bloody Mary is the use of Clamato (tomato juice and clam broth) instead of just tomato juice. So while the $60 Checkmake might technically not be an honest-to-God Bloody Mary, we’re still forced to include it, since this brunchy booze is topped with roasted chicken, a pulled pork slider, onion rings, chicken wings, a hot dog covered in pulled pork and mac & cheese as well as a fucking brownie (which, actually, eww).
We might question if there’s actually $60 worth of ingredients used to make this concoction, but that wouldn’t stop us from ordering it just because, look how crazy it is. So crazy!
The Sumo Mary
This Bloody Mary from Chicago’s Sunda might only set you back a mere $40, but we like to tell ourselves that most of the savings comes from this being an actual Bloody Mary and not some clam-and-tomato-juice concoction from a nation that, we presume, is 90% comprised of white dudes named Shelton. The Sumo Mary gives you a 32-ounce Mason jar filled to the brim with vodka-tomato-goodness, at which point they start jamming whatever they can on top of the damn thing to make sure you eat a full meal’s worth of food before you even have the chance to start getting day drunk. There are three strips of bacon, because America, half of a grilled cheese-and-tocino (we’ll save you the google- a type of bacon popular in the Philippines) sandwich, a duck bao, braised pork belly, a stick of lumpia (Chinese savory pastry), a snow crab hand roll, roasted potatoes, shishito peppers, pickled daikon radish, and some Chinese broccoli. While this is easily one of the more fancy “huh some of these ingredients have names I do not recognize, ergo it must be expensive and, thus, fancy” Bloodies on this list, we’re going to go back to Chicago for another Bloody Mary which, while not as “fancy” or “expensive” as the Sumo, uses a slew of more common ingredients to embrace the true spirit of ridiculous Bloody Marys—making getting drunk on a Sunday even more unhealthy than it already is.
Jimmy Green’s Stoli Jumbo Bloody Mary
Jimmy Green’s in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood knows what makes the City of Broad Shoulders tick—alcohol, nitrates-laden meat tubes, and an inferiority complex that wildly oscillates between paranoid, obnoxious, petulant, and well-earned all within a moment’s notice. So when they sell their Stoli (previously Ketel One) Bloody Marys for $10, you know you’re going to get more than just 22 ounces of boozy goodness. You’ll also get a fully dressed Chicago-style hot dog jammed in there for your own enjoyment. While this isn’t the only hog dog-garnished Bloody Mary in Chicago (The Grid offers a more elegantly presented version), Jimmy’s manages to strike that perfect balance between crazy and drunk by deciding that a whole hot dog jammed in your drink isn’t enough garnish. Hell no, they’ve got to add a pepper, a slice of salami, cheese, two olives, lemon and lime, and a stalk of celery. This of course ignores the pickle, onion, relish, tomato, and sport peppers already smashed into your hot dog that, and we can’t stress this enough, is inside your Bloody Mary.
Basically, this is probably the greatest thing to ever happen to the city of Chicago since, probably, the 1985 Bears, who we are told were the greatest sports team of all time don’t you give us any of that Miami Dolphins bullshit they couldn’t hold a candle to Ditka’s squad and yes our pizza is better than New York’s and yes our hot dogs are the nation’s best hot dogs and Ditka DITKA DITTTKAAAAAAA.
Ahem. Anyway. We want to drink this.
The Bloody Masterpiece
Some people might be surprised when they hear that Wisconsin takes Bloody Marys more seriously than most states take their health care programs. Anyone astonished by that fact belong to a very specific group referred to as, “People who clearly have never stepped foot in the state of Wisconsin.” Of course you’d never be in doubt of the state’s affinity for all Marys that are Bloody if you’ve managed to stop by Sobelmans Pub & Grill in Milwaukee, where they cram not one, not two, not a QVC gimmick, but thirteen different garnishes onto their Bloody Masterpiece. Using Milwaukee-produced Jimmy Luv’s Bloody Mary Mix, your drink is served with a Brussels sprout, celery, onions, mushrooms, a cherry tomato, lemon, a pickle, a shrimp, sausage, a single sobering moment where you pause and think about what you’re actually doing, oh God just that look on your wife’s face, you’re not the man she married, you’re a monster, a Bloody Mary garnish gobbling monster, her sister said she was close to leaving you and at this moment you don’t even blame her, cheese, olives, green onions, asparagus, and a bacon cheeseburger slider. It’s served with a beer chaser because, if our caloric hamburger article taught you anything, it’s that America will never say no to the addition of 200 or so empty calories to an already unnecessarily decedent culinary item.
O’Davey’s Bloody Mary
Begun, the Wisconsin Bloody Mary wars have. O’Davey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant has decided that though Soblemans might make an acceptable “every day” Bloody Mary, you sometimes need to kick things up a notch. That’s why, on the first Sunday of every month starting at 11:30 AM and ending when supplies run out, $5 can get you this precariously crafted mascot of the nation’s obesity crisis (psh, more like a crisis of awesome). We’ve not been able to find a full list of ingredients, but we do know there are multiple sliders, a bag of popcorn, bacon, peanuts, green beans, sausage, and a whole soft pretzel to go along with olives, celery, Giardiniera, a slice of cucumber, and a cheese curd to remind you what goddamn state you’re in. Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve temporarily stopped offering this Bloody Mary as of May, 2013. Naturally, after all of the press about this Bloody Mary got out there, they decided they didn’t want to encourage unhealthy eating and drinking habits and hahaha no of course that wasn’t it they just didn’t have enough space to accommodate the sheer volume of people rushing up there to get their insanely cheap, absurdly elaborate combinations of fatty foods and boozy alcohol because this is America and we are so proud of each and every one of you.
The Fuck Brunch Bloody Mary
We kind of are in love with the Anvil Pub in Dallas, if for no other reason than the fact that they clearly have the best named Bloody Mary on this whole list. They’ve changed the ingredients to the drink, but the best iteration of the $20 Bloody Mary was available in March of 2013. The ingredients list as “a bacon and cheddar slider, shrimp, artisan cheese, beef jerky, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans, okra, a pickle, onions, tomatoes, olives, and a whole crawfish” while being served with a half-pint of PBR as a beer back. This drink wins not only for snarkiest title but also for the most different kinds of animals killed for garnish purposes (we’re counting at least four between the shrimp, crawdads, bacon, hamburger, and jerky). It also seems to be one of the better deals available—maybe we’re jaded by overly-priced novelty items, but dropping twenty bucks on two full drinks and a decent meal doesn’t seem all that bad to us. What we’re saying is, if they ever bring this out of retirement, we guess we’re going to have to send the staff on a Dallas field trip.
Of course, there are many other insane Bloody Marys out there, though the truly insane ones tend to be one-time gimmicks done by home chefs or comedians (case and point—Randy Liedtke’s publicity stunt involving a whole pizza and a footlong sub) and we’re going to be more vigilant about keeping you, the American public, informed about insane Bloody Marys as soon as we can. Because sometimes, you just want to spend too much money to ensure you spend your Sunday in a buzzed food coma, and we would never want to do anything to get in that’s way. Onwards and drunkwards, America.