What is a Bloody Mary if not an alcoholic gazpacho? And if it were warmed instead of chilled, would you not want to slurp it with a nice, oozing grilled cheese? Yet it’s for these exact reasons that a lot restaurants are taking their liberties with the garnish. Have you seen some of these toppings lately? They’re not just stalks of celery anymore. I’ve seen crab claws, bacon, tiered sandwiches, hamburger sliders, even BBQ’d baby back ribs teetering on the edge of the glass.
I wouldn’t necessarily object to any of it if the prices didn’t often exceed that of an actual meal consisting of those very same foodstuffs. This is why it was refreshing to finally find a sane rendition of a Bloody Mary for once. It was sold for the reasonable price of $4. I ordered it while having breakfast at JT Schmid’s in Tustin one Saturday morning.
The drink came with only the requisite garnishes—olives, a celery stalk, lime, and a salt-rimmed glass—all that’s needed and necessary to complement the spicy punch, tang and vodka burn. Plus, it went rather well to balance the rich and runny yolks of the huevos rancheros I was having. Why did it match so nicely with the dish? Because there’s really only a fine line between a Bloody Mary and a big glass of boozed-up salsa.