By Kim Fuller Published in the Vail Daily
Local restaurants share (some) secrets to their prized, pickle-topped libations
There’s something about marys — bloody marys. Maybe it’s that jolt of Vitamin C or the kick of spice, but a bloody mary makes an excellent brunch accompaniment, après ski snack and, it must be said, hangover cure. Here are some of our favorites.
A lot of locals would call Westside the “king of bloody marys,” or perhaps they just feel like a king when they are holding the 20-ounce goblet of goodness.
Westside co-owner, Mike Dennis, says the drink has layers of flavor. Start with the infused vodka, in either bacon, habanero (called spicy) or regular (onions, tomatoes and celery). You can even mix the vodkas — since the large drink has two shots, try spicy-bacon.
To continue the party, there’s the homemade mix (still a secret), and then there’s the skewer. There’s always something vinegary on that skewer that offsets your palate as you drink through your bloody mary,” says Dennis. And then, if that’s not quite enough, the drink comes with a sidecar of Fat Tire beer.
I think, especially if you are not familiar with Westside, it’s very much like a present when it comes to the table,” he explains. “Like, ‘is that for me too?
“Larkspur’s bloody mary is a special house-made recipe that has evolved through the years,” shares Nathalia Souza, director of events for Larkspur Restaurant in Vail.
This bloody is made with vegetable-infused vodka, which rests for a couple months with celery, onions and peppers to give the overall taste of the drink a subtle complement. Their house-made bloody mix has all the classic dashes of spice, mixed with tomato juice for a robust taste.
Sitting slopeside on Golden Peak sipping this drink may be one of the things that makes it most memorable, but there are also two special touches that make this drink extra special: an Old Bay seasoned rim, and the Stevenson pickles.
Josh Stevenson was a great employee at Larkspur Restaurant, and a remarkable beverage enthusiast for 11 years,” shares Souza. “He created these spicy marinated pickles, which we serve with our bloody mary, as a garnish, along with olives and pepperoncini.
The Ritz-Carlton’s Green Mary is what the health-minded, or curious, guests go for. The drink is made with kale and spinach, as well as tomatillo peppers to give it some heat. It’s truly a tasty spin and a healthy rendition on the classic cocktail. Find this green machine at Spago’s Snow Bar, and choose three gourmet garnishes, as well as additional garnishes (for a charge) like bacon and shrimp. Grab your Green Mary and head outside to sit in the sun and watch the skiers come down. If this isn’t vitality, what is?You can taste the love in Mountain Standard’s bloody mary. The passion really comes through with the smoky flavor from the inclusion of chargrilled beefsteak tomatoes.
“There is a bit more work and love that goes into the prep for our mix,” says Donovan Sornig, bar manager, “but we fully believe that the end result is a more enjoyable cocktail.”
“The fact that we use a blanco tequila is what makes our bloody maria stand out from the rest,” explains Kayla Wittich, food and beverage manager at Maya.
Often, she says, bars and restaurants will use a mixto tequila (which is not 100 percent tequila) with bloody marias because the bloody mix will mask the not-so-good flavor of the mixto.
“The blanco tequila gives it a cleaner, fresher taste,” Wittich says. “I also love our bloody base, which we make in-house.”
Here’s your post-ski snack! The skewer on this bloody mary has nine items on it: pimento-stuffed green olive, pepperoni slices, pickle, tomato wedge, cucumber slice, pepperoncini, lemon, lime and pepper jack cheese. So why not 10 items on that stick? Then you wouldn’t be hungry for dinner.
– By Kim Fuller