our favorite Bloody Marys in the City on Chicagoist as part of our "Best Of" series. Man, do people have strong feelings about their bloodys. As Chuck says, we almost got into a virtual fist fight on the list over it. I am very particular about my bloodys as well, and my contribution had to be edited way down, but here are my complete feelings on the drink, and my favorite in the city.
I’m picky about bloody marys, but I’m no good pinpointing exactly what it is that I love. I can tell you what I don’t like: one that’s too watery, too thick, too much worcestershire, not enough worcestershire, too lime-y, too spicy with not enough flavor. I don’t mind a little bit of beer in there, but what am I supposed to do with that beer back?? If I want a tiny beer, I’ll order a half pint. Don’t bother with all those meats and cheeses either, I ain’t looking for a meal here, or even a celery stick. Just stick a pickle wedge in there and be done with it.
While appreciate the concept of a Bloody Mary Bar (you’re in control! make it how YOU like it!), I don’t want to be responsible for ruining my own drink, and I’ve ruined plenty of bloodys. When I’m hungover on a Sunday, the last thing I want is a crappy bloody mary, especially one that I paid for and ruined. I want a bartender that can make me a rich, tasty bloody that is consistently delicious.
Enter AJ at the Corner Bar in Bucktown. He’s usually manning the bar on Sundays for whatever sporting event is going on (sometimes they’ll even have Popeye’s chicken), and he makes a mean (read: delicious) bloody mary. You won’t find any pre-made mix in a jug here. He makes each one from scratch: tomato juice, vodka, worcestershire, horseradish, (I’m sure I’m missing lots of important things here), a celery salt rim, and of course, a pickle. I’ve watched him make 'em many times, but I still can’t put it together as well as he does.