As soon as I flipped my calendar on the morning of March 1, I had a good feeling. You can sense it in the air; we are slowly inching our way towards warmer months. Spring is arguably DC’s best season: slushy sidewalks are a thing of the past, humidity has yet to strike, and patio happy hours and cherry-blossom-themed cupcakes abound.
Last but not least, the season of outdoor brunch returns. Who doesn’t love sipping a brunch cocktail (or 10) on a lazy, hazy weekend morning?
Now before an all-out brawl commences over Mimosas vs. Bloodys, let me stop you right there. There are merits to both. But crafting a Bloody is an art form, and frankly, they are way more fun to look at on Instagram.
Six months ago I made my way up to The Heights, after repeated recommendations from my fellow Bloody-ers. I was delighted to come across the “High Noon” Bloody, which had a bourbon base and a pleasing, but not ostentatious garnish of bacon and potato straws. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but this was the first place I’d seen in DC that offered a bourbon Bloody. As a woman engaged in a long-term love affair with bourbon, I was thrilled to see this on the menu, and the Heights did not disappoint. My first sip of the High Noon gave me a real jolt, the way only carefully-made cocktails do. The bourbon had wrapped this savory cocktail in a rich, oaky finish and made it so much more robust than your typical vodka-based Bloody.
- 2-3.5 oz Bulleit bourbon
- 1 bottle tomato juice (amount will depend on size of glass you use)
- 1 oz clam juice (skip the Clamato juice; get a good bottle of clam juice and mix it in yourself)
- 1 dash lemon juice
- a few lemon wedges
- 1 tsp horseradish
- 3 dashes of hot sauce (Tabasco, or I use Trader Joe’s chili pepper sauce)
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 3 dashes celery salt
- 2 dashes ground mustard
- a few twists of cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup French’s Fried Onions, crushed up
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- Dill pickle
- 1 slice thick cut bacon, cooked crispy
- 1 celery stalk
- Choose your glass. Rub the rim generously with a lemon wedge.
- Combine French’s Fried Onions and Old Bay in a small bowl. Flip glass upside down in the bowl and coat the rim of the glass in the mixture. Set aside (in the fridge, if possible).
- Get two other pint glasses. Fill up one glass at least half way with ice.
- Pour all ingredients EXCEPT tomato juice over ice.
- Once all ingredients are combined, fill up the rest of the glass with tomato juice.
- Pour drink from one pint glass to the other until well mixed (4 or 5 times).
- Pour into the first glass, careful not to slosh over the coated rim.
- Garnish with pickle spear, celery stalk, and bacon. Those are the garnishes I had handy, but I also love a good cocktail shrimp and a few olives. I’m not really a fan of the fried chicken wing or cheese burger slider garnish, but to each his own.