Friday Happy Hour: Bloody Mary

Photo courtesy of
‘Bloody Mary’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

It’s time for Friday Happy Hour, highlighting a drink we’ve recently enjoyed, every Friday at 4pm! Please share your favorites as well.

Wait, a Bloody Mary on a Friday? They’re just for brunch, right? Ok, perhaps you won’t be having one this evening, but I happen to harbor a soft spot for the most ubiquitous of hangover helpers. I especially love its history, around since the 1920’s in Paris or 1930’s in New York, depending on the tale – its exact origins are somewhat disputed. Vaudevillian George Jessel claimed to be the first to mix vodka and tomato juice as a morning cure-all, while famous bartender Fernand Petiot added the spice element now considered essential. Petiot worked at Harry’s Bar, frequented by another master of the cocktail, Hemingway. This gives what we usually consider a humble drink a very sexy past.

I’m partial to my Bloody Mary with a Bull Shot, that is, adding beef broth which gives it a lot more depth. This is probably due to my hating tomato juice with a passion as a child. It was only as an adult that I grew to tolerate it, spurred by a friend who swore by tomato juices’s healthy and healing qualities. Slowly I saw the light. I love “make your own” Bloody Mary menus like at Logan Tavern where you can add everything but the kitchen sink (bacon! cucumber!). Traditional spices can include cayenne pepper, some prefer Tabasco while others like Worcestershire, some add lemon, salt – it’s one of those drinks whose varieties seem endless.

But sometimes, just simple and classic is the best choice. I recently had a gorgeous Bloody Mary at Farmers & Fishers, whose cocktail menu was designed by the very talented Jon Arroyo. In-house organic pepper-infused vodka with spicy tomato juice, and a lovely sprig of fresh Italian parsley – not too much heat, not too much acid, it was just right (and at $5, really just right). Completely woke me up and sent me off to face the rest of my day, well-hydrated and vitamin-rich. Drink your lycopene!

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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