We’re taking a break from our normally scheduled post for a brief discussion on cocktails. Specifically, regional differences in cocktails.
We’ll be talking about food too, because when imbibing alcohol, the partaking of food is always a wise choice.
For some context, we’ve been doing a bit of work on our house and felt we deserved a break. So yesterday for dinner we drove to St. Cloud and went to one of our new favorites: Grizzly’s. (Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it; they’re only in Minnesota and Wisconsin.)
It’s a nice place. Even at their busiest, it tends to be quieter than other restaurants and the four or five times we’ve been there, we’ve always had great service.
But really, we go there for the food. It’s fabulous. Husband gets their pulled pork sandwich, I usually go for one of their chicken dishes. This time I got their Spicy Rotisserie Chicken with sweet potato fries. This is how they describe it:
SPICY ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
Grizzly’s wood-roasted chicken, spicy veggies, jalapeño peppers, pepper jack cheese, & roasted red pepper mayo on a toasted pretzel bun.
And this is what it looked like:
The little thing on the top left is a fried pickle. They come with Husband’s sandwich, but he always gives them to me because he loves me.
Anyway, let’s back up to when the waiter first brought us the menu. His name was Matthew and he was taking care of us for the evening.
So Matthew comes to our table and once we accept going under his care, he offers to bring us drinks and alerts us that their Bloody Mary’s are on special.
This is something I’ve noticed about Minnesota, they seem to be big on Bloody Mary’s. Everywhere we’ve been, I’ll notice a restaurant or bar bragging about their own version of it.
Usually I don’t order a drink, I’ll just stick with water thank you. Occasionally I’ll get iced tea, but only if I know for certain they brew it. If I order alcohol at all, typically I go for a house red.
But this time I was feeling adventurous. After Husband ordered his usual (coke-is-pepsi-okay-yes-that’s-fine) I said, “A Bloody Mary sounds fun, I’ll take that.”
I’m not sure why I said “fun” but there it is.
Now, granted, I’ve not ordered many Bloody Mary’s in my life, but my expectation was that I would receive something like this:
An icy, slightly spicy tomato-based drink with celery.
What Matthew brought me was this:
Husband wasn’t sure I was brought the right drink. I wasn’t sure either but I didn’t want to offend Matthew. So after he walked away I spent a little time with Google.
Turns out this is a Midwest version of the Bloody Mary, and that chaser of beer is called a snit. Which is a delightful name for it, when all is said and done.
As for the drink? It was very savory. And more than just a little spicy, which made me appreciate the snit. I think the glass was rimmed with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and maybe cumin? Not sure on that.
For my edification, Google presented me with a few more examples of “Upper Midwest” Bloody Mary’s:
Making my Grizzly version look pretty pale by comparison.
Then I recalled something Brian of Bonnywood wrote regarding a drink he ordered that I think came with a cheeseburger? And I mean that literally, the cheeseburger was on a skewer in the drink. Could that have been a Bloody Mary?
(Perhaps Brian will let us know in the comments.)
In the meantime, for the rest of you, I’d like to know if there are special takes on cocktails where you live and if so, have you tried them and what did you think?
Hey, wouldn’t this be a great premise for a TV show? A group of friends taking a road trip across the country, tasting regional cocktails!
If I ask right, maybe Husband will agree to be our designated driver. What do you think?