The Bloody Marys of New York City

Lobster Joint Bloody

Good morning. First thing Monday may seem like a strange moment to talk about our favorite hair-of-the-dog order, the Bloody Mary. Or, maybe not. Goodbye, weekend. Hello, week. Cheers!

All this winter, in its #SearchforMary, Stoli vodka has been toasting to that very same Bloody Mary, in all its regional variations–the drink can differ so much from bar to bar, not to mention from city to city. So, I set out to find what we’ve got on offer, Bloody Mary-wise, here in New York.

The Bloody Mary is an exquisitely American drink, less a cocktail and more like a culinary event, each drink creation an original moment to to invent the Bloody anew. With unexpected combinations of salty, briny, and rich, the tomato juice, celery, horseradish, and vodka manifest in tons of different delicious drinks, and I’m known to order them frequently–and to make them myself.

In my mind, there are a few ways a Bloody Mary can stand out. One, the garnish. Some of my favorite Bloody Marys keep it really simple in the drink itself, then pile on the  pickles, celery stalks, and lobster claws (!) for a meal-like topping. Two, the booze. Tequila and gin can both create great Bloodys, though nothing holds a candle to the original vodka, which just works. Then three, there’s the balance. With all the strong flavors, you can wind up with too much of one thing: tomato, celery, even ice, but the best of the best balance all these proportionately with the flavor of the booze.

So that you don’t have to traipse all over New York City in your search for a brilliant Bloody, I’ve enlisted my tastebuds, Stoli’s ambassadors, and the collective local knowledge of New York City’s Bloody drinkers to bring you a short round-up of standout Bloody Marys. As with the drink everywhere, there are so many tweaks and variations that at first it’s hard to see what makes each of these particularly New York-y. But take a step back and you’ll see. In New York, creativity’s token city, there’s truly no limit to what our bartenders have done with the famous Bloody Mary, and this round-up highlights a vast array of tweaks.

Read on for a few recipes and check back Wednesday for my take on the New York City Bloody Mary. If I’ve missed your favorite NYC Bloody Mary, please let me know in the comments!


The Bloody: Cheryl’s Global Soul Bloody Mary
Standout Feature: Comes with brunch. I know, I know, that may seem like a low standard. But for every extraordinarily creative drink around, I think we need a good solid standby, preferably at a nearby, not-too-pricy brunch joint that includes the bloody in your brunch order. For those of us in Prospect Heights, Cheryl’s has got that covered.


The Bloody: The Boulton Bloody at Boulton and Watt
Standout Feature:  Says Stoli ambassador Lindsay Eshelman:”It’s extra spicy and hearty – and is garnished with picked Brussels sprouts, with a balance of savory and spicy, hearty texture, and original presentation. I guess you could say I like my bloodies like I like my friends! Original and not bland!”


The Bloody: Back Forty’s London Mary
Standout Feature: Gin. New York has a bit of New England in its blood (no pun intend). So, it follows that we’ve got a bit of Old England, too. The gin in this Bloody, while clearly not vodka, gives the drink a fun twist, even if each sip feels more suited to evening than all day. The edge of the glass is covered in jalapeño salt.


via instagram by way of Gothamist

The Bloody: The Brooklyn Star’s Bloody Bull
Standout Feature: Beef broth and pickled green beans. According to Gothamist, “You could probably sub it in for a full meal of chicken and waffles.”


The Bloody:  Bua’s Bloody Mary
Standout Feature: “There’s a McClure’s pickle as garnish. I LOOOOOVE pickles so this made all the difference,” said Carlos Rios, a Stoli ambassador who doesn’t love all Bloody Marys but definitely adores this one. Several Yelp reviewers agree that Bua’s bloody is the best in the city.

This post was sponsored by Stoli. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep Big Girls, Small Kitchen delicious.

Check out Stoli’s coast-to-coast search for local Bloody Mary deliciousness by following #SearchforMary. If you’re local, the Stoli Bloody Mary truck is making stops in NYC through Friday the 28th–look for it!  Savor Stoli Responsibly. STOLICHNAYA® Premium Vodka and Flavored Premium Vodkas. 37.5%-40% Alc/Vol. (75-80 proof). Distilled from Russian Grain. Stoli Group USA, LLC, New York, NY ©2014 Spirits International, B.V.

Posted in: The Best of BGSK
  • Kaitlin

    Yum! So many delicious bloodies! I have to say… I’ve always loved the Sarabeth’s ‘pickled’ bloody mary…. all of that veg just jumping right out of the glass! Delish!

    • BGSK

      Oooh, I’ll have to try!

  • Judy Bennett

    Not the St. Regis? That’s where the whole shebang got started!

    • BGSK

      Ha! Never had it there. I think it got started at Harry’s, in Paris. I’ve been finding that all these cocktails have several creation stories apiece. Can’t wait to try the St. Regis’s soon…

  • Evan Weiss

    These are 5 mouth watering reviews. Thanks! Thought you may be interested in The Brooklyn Bloody Mary Festival on April 27 in Williamsburg.

    • BGSK

      Oh awesome – I’ll check it out. Thanks, Evan!

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