Bloody good time with a Bloody Mary

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:

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:

Grizzly's meal

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:

Bloody Mary

An icy, slightly spicy tomato-based drink with celery.

What Matthew brought me was this:

Bloody Mary with snit
There were more things on the skewer but I ate them before I thought to take a picture. Sorry.

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?

18 thoughts on “Bloody good time with a Bloody Mary

  1. I’ve had some Bloody Marys in my time but nothing – NOTHING – like that. But enough about me. Get the road show together and put me #1 on the list — good friends, food and alcohol — sell my clothes I’ve gone to heaven! cheers

    1. Margaritas are usually the only cocktail I order anymore. Though one time in Moab, Utah, I had the loveliest Lavender Martini… and so was born the idea for the cocktail tour. 🙂

  2. As I’m really not a variegated drinker (1 version of sweet white wine or a several shots of schnapps is only ever on my menu), and I’m not a traveller, nor a tv watcher, perhaps I’ll just read the blog posts 🙂

  3. Guess it saves the bar from worrying about folks drinking on an empty stomach. Maybe there’s a law that says you’ve gotta serve ’em food. (And that looks like quite the plate, funky drinks aside.)

  4. You need a Brit On Board. Sign me up! I’m no cocktail expert, but I do love spicy tomato juice, so a ‘savoury’ cocktail sounds good to me. Brian’s Bloody Mary was the first and only other time I’d seen a drink served as a 3 course meal! I’m intrigued by the fried pickle. Did I say intrigued? I’m SALIVATING at the thought of it! Need to find me some of those. 😉

  5. First, I must thank you profusely for remembering my post about the Bloody Mary that could serve a family of seven quite successfully. It’s one of my favorite personal scribblings, at least blog-wise.

    Second, yes, Bloody Mary recipes vary greatly from region to region and country to country. Some of them are quite festive and enjoyable. Others, not so much. The best Bloody Mary EVER is made by my sister in Broken Arrow. There is no room for debate, so equivocation is not allowed.

    Third, fried pickles? Love them. Love. Them.

    Fourth, how did I get so far behind with your blog posts? I knew I had missed one, but I had no idea that I’m at least THREE behind and I’m still digging. The shame is deep. Perhaps we should blame my world-wide sampling of Bloody Marys? I think we should…

    1. Yeah, I figured it was your Bloody Mary I was dreaming of. Nothing against your sister, but I feel I should tell you that while researching the above missive, I came across a Bloody Mary with two mini-cheeseburgers AND some bacon-wrapped jalapenos. So…
      Another thing, when it comes to falling behind you got nothing on me. I think I’m so behind in my reading I’m backed up to last New Years. Oh say, is that your Valentine’s post I see coming up? 😉

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