A Lesson In: Building the Perfect Bloody Mary

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Biscuits. Brunch. Bloody Mary. There aren’t many more delicious combos than that.

Every Sunday, Tupelo, the award-winning Main Street restaurant with a Southern twist, hosts a delicious brunch from 11 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Dishes include starters such as cheese fritters and Maine crab toast with avocado, along with entrees like chicken and biscuits and sourdough French toast.

Tupelo BrunchBesides the incredible food, however, the pièce de résistance of Tupelo’s Sunday brunch is their famous bloody Mary bar. We asked Brian Miller, general manager of Tupelo, to give us the rundown on the essential ingredients for a good bloody bar (in case you want to re-create it at home), as well as how to build your own perfect brunch drink.

On the bar

The must-haves: Titos vodka and Tupelo’s housemade bloody mix. Tupelo’s mix contains tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, cornichon juice, horseradish, Sriracha chili sauce, ground black pepper, celery salt and cayenne pepper. 

Pickled veggies: These range depending on the time of year, and many come straight from Chef Matt Harris’ own farm. A few examples of veggies you might find include radishes, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, olives, artichokes, peppers, capers, mushrooms, heirloom carrots, cocktail onions, pickles, blueberries, rhubarb, heirloom cauliflower, broccoli, okra, garlic, apple and turnips.

Hot Sauces: Tabasco, Cholula, Sriracha, Dave’s Insanity Sauce, Smoked Bacon Chipotle Sauce, Slap ya Mama Cajun sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce — just to name a few.

Seasonings: Salt, pepper, Old Bay, red pepper flakes, celery salt, garlic powder, flavored salts, Slap ya Mama Cajun, olive juice, horseradish, Worcester Sauce, lemons and limes.

And finally, BACON!!!! (emphasis, Miller’s)

How to make the best bloody Mary ever

Miller’s number-one tip: Make sure your glass isn’t too full before you start building your bloody. Leave some room at the top, so you’ll be able to take a sip and test it out to see what else you want to add, he explains. “I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen with an overflowing glass doing the ol’ ‘sip and walk’ with a hand under the glass back to their table.

After you have the appropriate liquid level in the glass, now it’s time to doctor it up. Start with seasonings and hot sauces, Miller suggests. Whether you like it spicy or smoky, pick your poison; some hot sauces have a smoky taste, while others are very intense in the heat index. Go light at first; you can always add more — and taste as you go, Miller says. 

Once you have perfected the taste, then add the veggies of your choice, and you can’t forget the slice of bacon. On a recent visit, I opted for olives, picked carrots, okra, lemon and, of course, bacon — a winning combination. 

Finally, add a (paper) straw and enjoy — as you start thinking about how you’ll build your next bloody.

Tupelo Bloody Mary Bar

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About Author

Locke Hughes is a freelance journalist currently based in Park City, who used to live in NYC until the mountains called. She believes long hikes and hot yoga — as well as wine and delicious food — play an important role in a happy life. Follow her outdoors and eating adventures on Instagram @lockehughes.

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