Best of Columbus 2014: Bloody Marys

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

For the nonconformist: 101 Beer Kitchen’s Bloody Maria

Booze: 100 percent blue agave tequila

Secret ingredients: Fire-roasted tomatillos with serrano pepper, garlic, cilantro and lime. “When we launched brunch, we wanted to do our own spin on the bloody mary,” says bar manager Brad Koinis.

Garnish details: Simply lime and a smoked sea salt rim

Spice level: 1 pepper out of 3

Try it with: The braised mole short ribs (the restaurant’s spin on steak and eggs). “The central American spices of the mole go well with the tequila and tomatillos,” Koinis says.

For the bacon lover: Tucci’s Bacon-Infused Bourbon Bloody Mary

Booze: When asked about the inspiration behind this drink, assistant general manager Michael Kulikowski replied, “Well, who doesn’t love bacon?” That’s why this delicious twist on the drink is made with Maker’s Mark 46 that’s infused with bacon in house.

Secret ingredients: In addition to horseradish and Worcestershire, there’s also a touch of Cajun spice.

Garnish details: Bacon, of course

Spice level: 2 peppers out of three

Try it with: The Bananas Foster French toast. “The sweetness of the dish and the maple syrup are delicious with the bourbon,” Kulikowski says.

For the celebrity chaser: Alton Brown’s Bloody Mary at Manifesto

Booze: This drink isn’t technically on the menu, but when Alton Brown was in town for a performance at The Palace last November, he stopped in at Manifesto, and bar manager Alex Beaty whipped up a bloody mary with sage gin. Brown praised the concoction and, if you ask, you can sample it for yourself.

Secret ingredient: Green chartreuse liqueur to bring out the herbal flavor

Garnish details: Chopped herbs

Spice level: 1 pepper out of three

Try it with: The porcini mushroom tortellini in brown butter sage sauce

For the perfectionist: Worthington Inn’s Customizable Bloody Mary

Booze: Watershed vodka

Secret ingredients: The real secret behind this customizable drink is the quality of the ingredients. “Everything is fresh and made in house,” says executive chef Tom Smith. “Even the pickles are homemade.”

Garnish details: Olives, cheese, pickled pepper, bacon—choose from 15 different garnishes by circling your selections on a sushi-style ordering card.

Spice level: Control the heat level with your choice of nine hot sauces.

Try it with: Eggs Worthington, which comes with corned beef hash and spinach. For Smith, though, the bloody mary “is a meal in and of itself.”