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One of the biggest bummers for Bloody Mary fans is being served a weak, watered-down, pinkish drink. What you really want is a deeply red and tomato-y Mary that's amply boozy but not sad and diluted. She's the Mary you want to know. Some horseradish and spices mixed in with a crisp, long celery stalk doesn't hurt either.
North End Grill's beverage director Jason Hopple also cares about Bloody Marys, which is why he offers a whole Mary menu with five different options at the Battery Park restaurant. They all start with the same base of San Marzano tomatoes. "They're so sweet, juicy, and round," he said of the high-quality canned tomatoes. So he doesn't need to add much once they've been cooked down for four hours, becoming a thick sauce; just salt, pepper, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, Dijon mustard ("the Maille brand is classic"), and some Worcestershire.
But from there, that's when he lets Mary go wild. You can get her smoky with a Laphroaig 10-year, or briny with a freshly shucked clam and its juice, or beefy with rich meat stock. There's also a beer-based Bloody with a crisp slice of bacon and a classic version, the "Bloody Murray," named after the street outside.
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