Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Don't Mess with a Bloody, Buddy!

You are now entering the Bloody Mary Zone, where fantasy meets reality, and the celery is only limited by your imagination. Here we have two weekends, two events, and one message.

Weekend One:

The scene: Capitol Lounge, brunch, a quiet time populated mostly by the deeply hungover, bickering couples escorting an overbearing matriarch on a tour of local haunts, and the occasional lone drinker, rocking gently back and forth on his stool.

I do what I do almost every weekend: order a Bloody Mary. I am handed a glass with ice and vodka, and told to fix my own drink from the Bloody Mary Bar up front. I scoff and snort - why would I come to a bar to prepare my own drink? Wouldn't I just do that at home?

All that derision makes me thirsty, so I reach for my glass of ice water and take a long pull. Which turns out to be from my Bloody Mary starter glass, meaning I just sucked down a mass quantity of rail vodka through a straw.

I spend the rest of the day mildly buzzy and smelling like the school nurse's bottle of iodine.

Weekend Two:

The scene: Ruby Tuesday's. The last stop before suburban oblivion, 2.4 kids and suing the neighbors over their ugly landscaping and cluttered driveway.

I order the house Bloody Mary, a portal to a damned dimension, known here as the Cajun Mary. I figure it's just a Bloody Mary with some extra cajun seasoning, a favorite add-on for me at home. I was wrong. I had taken a wrong turn into the Land of Everything That Could Possibly Go Horribly Wrong with a Relatively Simple Cocktail.

It was (and I shudder as I type...) sweet. Sickly sweet. With a funky aftertaste and the aroma of a grand experiment plunging toward bizarre and laughable failure. I was drinking the Chris Gaines of the cocktail world. I put the drink aside in pity and disgust.

The waitress noticed, and I sent the drink back for revision. The fix, the boozy lipstick on the drunken pig, so to speak? More Tabasco. Well, at least the sinuses got a hefty workout! So now it was sickly sweet and undrinkably spicy.

That's when I found out the secret ingredient in the Ruby Tuesday Cajun Mary. Hint: It's not love. Hint: It totally doesn't belong in any mixed drink, ever.

THE SECRET INGREDIENT IS BARBECUE SAUCE.

I haven't been so appalled since I found out that To Serve Man is a cookbook. The bartender came over and apologized, and brought me a new barbecue-free drink. By this time, I felt like a boozehound Goldilocks, but I was able to pronounce it "just right."

The Lesson?

Most people would assume the lesson is to stop drinking Bloody Marys. But that's not a lesson I'll ever listen to. After all, I had to be forcibly dissuaded from inventing Velcro Riding Breeches after I was (due to my own incompetence) thrown from a galloping horse at Camp Wingaroo.

Instead, the lesson is not for me. It's for all restaurants, everywhere:

Don't mess with a Bloody, Buddy!

(Hat tip for post title: Ric. Hat tip for writing style: Rod Serling)

17 comments:

Titania said...

Maybe I have never tried a good one, or maybe it is a cultural issue (you know, those things you have to grow up with, like dr pepper or root beer) but I have never been able to stomach a bloody mary, and I have tried and worked at it pretty hard

Dagny Taggart said...

Oh, my. I'm... so very sorry. I'm going to have to shriek incredulously.

BBQ SAUCE?!?!?!!!

That sounds like something a fraternity would make pledges drink... on a dare.

Shannon said...

Titania - They're definitely an acquired taste! I didn't start liking them until a few years ago.

Dagny - Great, now I'm in a fraternity? Well, it would totally explain the drinking binges and inability to turn down a dare.

Just A Girl said...

I don't know which of those things horrifies me more. I'm not a fan of the bloody mary, but if I was told to make my own drink, I would tell them that I'll make it but don't expect a tip. And bbq sauce?! No. No no no.

Brando said...

BBQ sauce may sound bad in a drink, but considering that a traditional Bloody has tabasco sauce in it, I dont' think it's too far a leap to add it. May as well add mustard too! BTW, if anyone here invents that I get a piece of the royalties...

Shannon said...

JAG - I almost asked if I should go back into the kitchen and prepare my own food.

Brando - EW, not really. Bloody Marys are supposed to be spicy, not sweet. Imagine biting into a jalapeno dunked in powdered sugar...gross, huh?

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
restaurant refugee said...

Only because I like a challenge, I am convinced that I can make a GOOD bbq Bloody Mary - but I would lean more heavily on the smoke and vinegar than the sweet of the sauce.

Who's up for Sunday morning experimentation?

Bateshorn said...

Yikes. This is why I increasingly just order beer all the time. Although, even that doesn't work out in my favor, I was at Tortilla Coast a couple of weeks ago, ordered a shiner, and it was immediately apparant they don't clean their taps regularily.

Yuck.

FoggyDew said...

More of a screwdriver man myself. The thought of drinking tomato juice is enough to make me hurl a little in my mouth.

Oh, and @Ref - I think that's an experiment that should never be allowed to see the light of day. Not that you shouldn't do it, just do it in the deep recesses of the night.

Shannon said...

Refugee - I think I'm scarred for life, unfortunately. Though, come to think of it, my NC sauce has ketchup in it...so a vinegar based sauce might just work.

Bateshorn - I haven't trusted Tortilla Coast since the time I walked out cold sober after four margaritas.

Foggy - But it's wholly inappropriate to drink Bloody Marys after dark! Oh, wait, so THAT's your plan for preventing the invention of the BBQ Mary.

Jamie said...

I had a bloody mary at RT's once which I thought was pretty good. But the presentation was priceless.

Shannon said...

Jamie - But was it a Barbecue Mary? And...please tell me you drank that through a straw.

Lemon Gloria said...

Nonononono! Why would anyone put BBQ sauce in anything they wanted you to drink?! You totally did them a favor.

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