In search of the perfect Bloody Mary

First’s Food & Bar’s Bloody Mary cart
Beverly Poppe
Jim Begley

There’s nothing like a little “hair of the dog” to help battle a hangover. While mimosas and screwdrivers are perfectly acceptable, for our money, nothing does the job better than a Bloody Mary.

At its most basic, the cocktail consists of vodka mixed with tomato juice, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, but most Vegas purveyors go above and beyond with intricate mixes and infusions. To spare you the time (and the inevitable headache), we drunkenly wandered the Valley to find and sample some of the very best.

RM Seafood An unlikely inclusion in the Valley’s Mary standouts is lead bartender J.R. Starkus’ rendition ($15)—unlikely because it hardly resembles its namesake brethren. The handcrafted drink is made with tomato water rather than puree, imparting a clearer, more yellow tint than is typical. Horseradish, muddled basil, celery salt and angostura bitters round out a drink that exudes freshness. At Mandalay Place, 632-9300.

Downtown Cocktail Room Although DCR boasts a great, seasonal cocktail menu, it’s an off-menu gem that regulars really yearn for: the Downtown Dill Bloody Mary ($10). The drink includes muddled cucumbers, Plymouth gin and house-made Bloody Mary mix with a “dill influence.” It’s all loosely strained for a tad of texture and served in a martini glass with a dill salt rim. The result is an easily drinkable Bloody appropriate for any time or temp. And if gin’s not your poison of choice, DCR has a multitude of Bloody variants at its disposal ($10 each), including the French Breakfast (mezcal and pisco), the Speedy Gonzalez (Pacifico and tequila) and even the Bloody Begley (bourbon). Take it from me, that last one is particularly good … 111 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 880-3696.

Hash House A Go-Go's bloody mary

Hash House A Go-Go's bloody mary

Fusion Bar The Palazzo’s “Latin-inspired mixology bar,” best known for infusions like mango pisco and pineapple cachaça, also serves a mean Bloody Mary ($12). Wise tourists have been known to wander all the way from Mandalay Bay to track down this treat, based on a 13-ingredient mix made daily and five-pepper- and celery-infused Tru vodka. Now you know. At Palazzo, 607-7777.

Hash House a Go Go The home of monstrous portions has a surprisingly modest-sized HH Bloody Mary ($8.50); however, the robust mix makes for a meal in a glass. For an even tastier drink, check out Johnny’s Famous BLT Mary ($11). It includes bacon, romaine lettuce and a tomato garnish with a piece of dry, white toast Elwood Blues would approve of. The garnish itself is practically a well-balanced meal! 6800 W. Sahara Ave., 804-4646; at Imperial Palace, 254-4646; at M Resort, 797-1500.


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