PW's Guide to Bloody Marys

By Tim McGinnis
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Oct. 21, 2009

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Ghost of Mary

Photo by Michael Persico

In the mid-1500s, Queen Mary I of England, the only daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, ascended to the throne bringing with her a healthy hate for Protestants and the bloodthirst of an anemic great white shark. Hellbent on restoring Catholicism as the official religion of her newly acquired kingdom, she earned the nickname Bloody Mary by burning nearly 300 dissenters at the stake. We now honor Mary Tudor on Sunday mornings as we drag our hung-over half-dead bodies to our favorite brunch spot and hoist a glass of her eponymous cocktail.

If You’re Taking Your Son Out
Wash down the Padre e Hijo (crispy duck confit, tinto hash, fried duck egg and catalán escarole) with a Pamplona at Tinto’s (116 S. 20th St. 215.665.9150) $25 four-course Sunday brunch. The drink, with celery-infused vodka, spiced tomato, savory consommé, and chunky chorizo garnished with a guindilla pepper, is a nice complement to the Iberian breakfast but for 10 bucks it should really be served in a pint glass (or a bota bag). B O

If You Miss the Old Country
The Piazza at Schmidts is just like Italy: the al fresco dining, the double murders and the British Isle style watering hole Swift Half Pub (1001 N. 2nd St. 215.923.4600) give the new space in Northern Liberties an air of authenticity. Despite the lack of old world charm, the Piazza is pretty cool and Swift Half is a nice place to have a drink. Try their oddly awesome, inverted green tomato bloody. It’s like the spiced up essence of tomato with olives and a bit of kick. O H C

If You Want to Test Yourself
The build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at National Mechanics (22 S. Third St. 215.701.4883) can bring out the best and the worst in a person. They hand over a pint glass with vodka, celery, ice and a pic of some colorful Philadelphian emblazoned on it, and then they leave you to your own devises. The bar is filled with tiered accoutrements of anything one might want in their morning Mary. Hot sauces and pickled items are a fave. Some become Mary masters knowing that less is actually more, while others can’t control their creativity and piece together Frankenstein-like monstrosities.  B O H C

If You’re a Canuck
One of Canada’s favorite cocktails is on the menu at Oyster House (1516 Sansom St. 215.567.7683) but oddly, the Bloody Caesar isn’t made with anchovies like one might assume but rather clam juice along with Sobieski vodka, spicy tomato juice, chunky horseradish and a plump olive garnish. S O H C

If You Like Them Healthy
The Bloody Mary at Royal Tavern (937 E. Passyunk Ave.215.389.6694) is so tasty it made our top 50 Must-Eats list.The meal-like drink made with chunky horseradish and suspended in a tomato, vodka and Worcestershire emulsion is tasty, filling and thicker than Beyonce’s backside. B O H C

If It’s Hair of the Dog You’re Looking For
Brunch doesn’t get any better than the huevos rancheros at the Sidecar Bar and Grille (2201 Christian St. 215.732.3429). Made with sunny side up eggs on corn tortillas with fresh salsa, cheddar cheese and refried black beans, it’s simply stupendous. Pair that belly-filling breakfast with one of their Bloodys, made from tomato juice, two kinds of steak sauce, Louisiana hot sauce, horse radish, Old Bay and your choice of vodka (we prefer Absolut Peppar), and it’ll chase your hangover away. B O H C 

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1. Anne said... on Aug 29, 2010 at 08:41PM

“10 Stone's is also fab...they give you a fat shrimp on a skewer as well.”


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