Join us live at My Big Fat Bloody Mary headquarters as we taste and review Lord Darnley’s bloody Mary mix. No holds barred. This will be a shoot from the hip spontaneous unedited review. There is no telling what will happen, except that we’ll be drinking. Why not? It’ll be 9am somewhere!
Live on air review: Lord Darnley’s Bloody Mary Mix
My Big Fat Bloody Mary HQ Sunday November 9th at 11:30am CST
When I heard that a fellow Wisconsinite had written an entire book about her travels in search of good bloody Mary’s, well I had to read it. What Susan Fiebig has created is a travel guide. Her passion and appreciation for a quality bloody Mary experience shines through in this 44 page guide to her favorite spots around the state to enjoy the queen of cocktails.
One might be tempted to call this a coffee table book because of its light nature and abundance of pictures, but make no mistake: this book is built to travel. Filled with photographs of the drinks, sketches of the establishments themselves, and detailed descriptions of the experience at each of the eleven bars and restaurants, the book will inspire you to follow her footsteps. I’d advise mixing a bloody Mary before you start reading. Your mouth will water as you take it all in.
Susan, “gets it,” when it comes to bloody Mary’s. After a little historical background of the cocktail, the author dives right into laying out the criteria for rating a bloody Mary. You may or may not agree with how each item is weighted, but one must appreciate that she captures the important points and gives them their due. The glass, rim salt, how the drink is mixed, how it is garnished, presentation, taste, and the all important Wisconsin standard, the beer chaser, all are taken into account.
Susan and her partner rate these cocktails at least twice. More than just an excuse to drink more, she wants to allow for minor variations from forces like a new bartender or one having a bad day. While she doesn’t divulge exactly how many different bloody’s were considered before selecting these top eleven, it’s clear that she draws from a large sample. (My kind of lady!)
The meat of this guide, comprising over half of its pages, is eleven critiques. Each of the bloody Mary’s gets a two page write-up. It includes a detailed description of the drink itself, how it was rated, a photograph of the bloody, a nice description of the bar or restaurant in which it was served, and sketch of the building by illustrator Jesse Roelke. (This was one of my favorite parts of the book. Points for unique artwork!)
We won’t spoil anything by sharing the top eleven, but a map in the book shows a geographic spread ranging from Madison to Sturgeon Bay, to Milwaukee. Susan’s quest is only beginning with this first guide. The last section of the book invites readers to join in the creation of the next edition. Six scorecards are included in the appendix. Readers are encouraged to take the guide-book out into the field and join in the research. She even includes a postage paid post card for your top choice to be included in the next edition. My head has been throbbing all week as I tirelessly pursue this challenge.
I highly recommend picking this book up and getting involved in Susan’s quest -a quest that holds purveyors of bloody Mary’s to a higher standard. When the bloody Mary bar is raised, we all win.
Learn more about the author, her quest, the book, and how to buy it on her website, The Bloody Trail.com
– The Tabasco brand has been the goto pepper sauce in millions of American homes for decades. Most of us recognize the distinctive diamond shaped label as clearly as the markings of a poisonous snake. With such a well established brand that seems to be included in most bloody Mary recipes, it seems a logical brand progression then for the company to create Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix.
Yeah, they did.
My regular readers know that I’m not a big fan of bloody Mary mixes. With the exception of Demitri’s bloody Mary seasonings, I’ve never given one my seal of approval. I keep an open mind though. Let’s face it, ready-made mixes are easy. They cost more than making a bloody Mary from scratch, but hey, we all get lazy at times. When I passed by the Tabasco bloody Mary mix at my favorite liquor store, I stopped. The first thing I look at in a bloody Mary mix is the ingredient list.
Not too bad. I didn’t see a lot of stuff that doesn’t occur in nature or exist in my kitchen on the Tabasco bloody Mary mix so I bought a bottle. (What the heck, I can write it off as a business expense!)
Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix Review
Got it home, popped the top and took a whiff. Hmm, something familiar about the smell. It didn’t remind me of a bloody Mary- something else…I mixed it with ice and a little vodka and took a swig. What in the Hell? Now I know the familiar smell: Campbell’s tomato soup from a can. Balls! I’ve had better bloody’s in jail! Once it cleared the palette, I ran for a chaser. This product would be great for bars wanting to sell beer. Like sucking on a salty peanut, the sodium in this crap made my tongue feel like beef jerky. The beer tasted damn good! I grabbed the bottle and confirmed my feeling. This fricking cocktail held 58% of the sodium recommended for an entire day. Thanks alot Tabasco! 1380 milligrams. WHAM!
The nice thing about this mix is that not only does it have enough salt to choke a horse and taste like canned soup, it also lacks any zip. That diamond shape that strikes fear into the heart of your aunt Florence has no place on this bottle. Where’s the spice? Instead of a nice little burn, this stuff leaves an oily salt feeling. Bummer. I think I’ll heat the remainder of the bottle on the stove, pour it into a bowl, and bust crackers over it. I’ll be sure to have a big glass of something to wash it down with.
And so, on a scale of 1 to 7.3, I give Tabasco bloody Mary mix a solid 2. It’s a good beer enhancer. **
-Greg Tooke My short bio