Category Archives: Spicy Blog

Thoughts, tips, rants, and raves about daytime drinking and cocktail mixing

Mike and Brenda's Bloody Mary Mix Review

Mike and Brenda’s Bloody Mary Mix Review

Mike and Brenda’s Salsa – Bloody Mary Mix

Mike and Brenda’s is a small family company from Henderson, Minnesota. They got their start making salsa. They make five salsa varieties; Mild, Medium, Hot, Extra Hot, and OMG Pineapple Salsa. Here’s what they have to say about their salsa;

“Welcome to our Salsa world! We’ve been making salsa for almost 20 years and have it down to a science. We use fresh ingredients and lots of love to make the best salsa this side of the Mississippi!

We make it hot….so hot your tongue will sweat! But, we can tone it down too so you can really enjoy the flavor.

Our salsa is full thick and hearty…you’ll need a good chip to really appreciate this salsa!”

But that’s not what I’m interested in. Mike and Brenda have moved into the bloody Mary world  -a logical progression I think.

Mike and Brenda's Bloody Mary Mix Review
Mike and Brenda’s Bloody Mary Mix

I received a quart, and I mean a quart mason jar, of the mix and just now got around to trying it. Holy smokes! This stuff is GOOD! The antithesis of a big corporate product, (Think Zing Zang), Mike and Brenda’s mix is devoid of flashy packaging. In fact, the only marking on the jar is a sticker with contact information on the lid.
Mike and Brenda's label

Ordinarily, I’d start a review by reviewing the ingredients. Since there are none listed, let’s move on.


The mix is deep red in color, with little bits of solids visible. It pours just a tad thicker than canned tomato juice. Not too thick, but enough texture to get my attention.


Wow! My first taste conjured up childhood memories of my mom and aunts canning tomato juice. Such fresh tomato flavors. Mom and her sisters also used to can something they called, “tomato plus.” If I recall, it was a mixture of garden tomatoes cooked with celery and onions. Mike and Brenda’s has those flavors and a few more. I taste celery and onion, perhaps a touch of garlic, and some spice.

The spice is interesting. It doesn’t hit you right away but leaves a very nice after-taste, reminiscent of a Snap-E-Tom tomato cocktail.

Snap-E-Tom Tomato Cocktail

The balance of fresh, fresh tomatoes and spice are absolutely perfect in Mike and Brenda’s Bloody Mary Mix. The flavor is immediately addictive. (And I’m not even adding vodka today!) I can’t think of an improvement that could be made to this mix, other than wider distribution.

My advice, if you see this mix for sale, buy as much as you can. Great stuff!

Find out more about Mike and Brenda’s on their Facebook page:

Mike and Brenda’s Salsa’s and Bloody Mary Mix

Snopes Article Fake

Snopes Article Deemed Fake

Further Investigation Reveals

Scope’s Article Debunking Claim Actually Fake


Snopes Article Fake
Snopes Article Fake

CLAIM: Story about one of the winners who shared the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot succumbed within days to a cocaine overdose is urban folklore


EXAMPLE: [Collected via e-mail, January 2016]

Hey man- this is an urban myth. I read about it in Snope’s”

ORIGIN:One of the multitude of news stories from about stories circulating  that hit social media in the wake of the record $1.5 billion Powerball lottery jackpot (shared by three winners) in mid-January 2016 was the tale of a false story about a California winner who supposedly took out a loan against his forthcoming lump sum lottery payment and quickly succumbed to a cocaine overdose while surrounded by prostitutes:

1 of the 3 $1.5B Powerball jackpot winners was found in his new multi-million dollar home dead of an accidental cocaine overdose. – finds false!



Further investigation reveals that yeah, that the dude was totally dead and totally had at least a kilo of blow on hand.  It’s what happens when people win the lottery. Duh!

lottery winner dead cocaine




Citizens Asked to Help Clear Downed Power Lines

Duke Electric Asks Citizens to Help Clear Downed Power Lines

SETH THOMAS AP Science Writer

Boston, MA – After record snowfalls in the Northeast, residents are digging out. Aside from the challenge of clearing driveways and sidewalks, many New Englanders are finding themselves without power. Extreme snowfall coupled with high winds has knocked down much of the area’s power lines. Commuters are being waylaid by roadways blocked by fallen power lines and electric infrastructure. down-power-line-survival-01

Rather than simply choosing another route, citizens are being urged to take an active role in clearing these routes.

“If people could take a moment to get out of their cars and move these downed lines, it would go a long way to getting life back to normal,” says City of Boston Public Works Director William Haney. “Don’t be lazy and just call the power company or 911. Take swift action.

Concerned for public safety, officials are urging caution when handling downed lines and poles.

“Citizens should observe proper lifting techniques as they move these obstructions,” says Duke Electric Assistant Director of Operations Dan Black. “Some of our transformers handling in excess of 750,000 volts can weigh over 100 pounds,” he warns. “It would be pretty easy to throw your back out if you’re not careful moving that.”

Bloody Mary’s- What’s the Big Fat Deal ?

by Greg Tooke of My Big Fat Bloody Mary  December 26th, 2014


Look around the internet, watch cable TV, or stop into your favorite restaurant or bar.  There are bloody Mary’s all over the place. Books have been written, contests have been waged, and bartenders from around the country seem to be competing to create the most impressive bloody Mary cocktail.

A drink that started as a simple combination of gin and tomato juice has seemingly grown into a national pastime.  Let’s take a look at why this drink has enjoyed such attention.


Why the Bloody Mary is the Queen of Cocktails


ComplexityThe American Chemistry Society, (ACS), recently studied the chemical properties of many of America’s most popular drinks- everything from juice to soda pop to highballs.  They found the bloody Mary to be the most complex of all.

It’s a very complicated drink,” said Neil C. Da Costa, Ph.D., presenting the results of the ACS’ 241st National Meeting & Exposition. “The Bloody Mary has been called the world’s most complex cocktail, and from the standpoint of flavor chemistry, you’ve got a blend of hundreds of flavor compounds that act on the taste senses. It covers almost the entire range of human taste sensations – sweet, salty, sour and umami or savory – but not bitter.”

This level of complexity affords great latitude in the preparation of the drink, as well as the enjoyment of it.  This leads to the next reason that bloody Mary’s are such a big fat deal:

Self Expressionism –  Order a screw driver, or a gin and tonic.  As long as the booze is good, and it’s properly chilled, it’s likely going to be right.  The complexity of a bloody Mary drink affords a high degree of personalization.  Levels of heat can be customized.  Hundreds of spice combinations can be used.  Additional flavors can be introduced through infusing vodkas. From homemade tomato juice to Clamato, there is a plethora of textures and flavors available to personalize the drink. This personalization does not stop at the top of the glass.  Special rim salts add additional taste sensation to the drink, and the garnishes that adorn them can rival an all you can eat buffet.

Beauty and Social Media – A really good bloody doesn’t just taste great. It’s got to look great.  Because of the infinite possible garnish combinations, many have raised the drink to the level of art.  Wisconsinite Sarah Jayne Pickart has created monstrous drinks with specialized emphasis and grabbed national attention for her wild and crazy gourmet bloody mary’s. outrageous bloody Mary(see photo)  But one needn’t take to the skies with their garnish to create something truly unique and beautiful.  You can take a photo of your Jack and Coke, but don’t expect it to go viral on Instagram.  Smart restaurateurs and pub owners know that a remarkable bloody Mary will get photographed and shared on social media.  I suspect this has driven the recent surge in bloody Mary photos throughout social media channels. (*that and the hard work of the staff of My Big Fat Bloody Mary.)

Chronic Alcoholism – Let’s be honest.  This drink was created to hide the morning consumption of alcohol.  A glass of tomato juice looks just fine next to a plate of bacon and eggs.  Drop a celery stalk in and you can literally hide behind the drink.

Lycopene – Yeah, whatever.

And so it would seem the perfect storm.  Start with a need – the age old need for a drink.  Create something remarkably complex in flavor. Add your own personal touch. Pimp that thing out with all that is edible with form and style. Share it with your friends.


It’s the century’s favorite epidemic – a real big fat bloody deal!

Restaurant Cited for Human Head Garnish


SHEBOYGAN, WIS. (AP) –  Health officials in Sheboygan, Wisconsin closed a local restaurant today for what it called, improper food handling and murder. Jack’s Brunch Alibi, a family owned sports bar and grill featuring daily lunch specials and Packer game day drink pricing, was cited for several health code violations, as well as felony murder and dismemberment charges.

According to local reports, the newly renovated pub and eatery had become embroiled in a deadly race for the most outrageous bloody Mary special.  Fueled by a recent introduction of a fifty pound cocktail boasting celery, pickle, ten year aged cheddar, and a fully functional Habitrail by a neighboring eatery,  owner Norm Grossberg may have gone too far.  While most customers were delighted to find actual shrunken human heads adorning the pub’s famous breakfast cocktail, (Norm makes his own recipe from scratch daily and refuses to share its secret!), one customer thought things had gone too far.

Cathy Evans, a local paralegal and breakfast cocktail enthusiast was aghast. “When Norm told me the new Bloody Mary cost $10.00 I was disgusted. Sure, they serve it with a full pint of beer, but ten is just too much.  Maybe I was a little cranky when the drink arrived, but I thought serving a human head was just in bad taste.”  Evans acknowledged that the drink itself was solid- spicy enough, but not over the top.” I have some legal experience and I suspected that there may be a code violation in the way the drink was served, so I called the health department.”

“I’d never seen a bloody Mary that cost over seven dollars- not ever.  The human head, while unique and certainly novel, sent up a red flag for me.” Sheboygan County Inspector


Head of the Class Bloody Mary at the Brunch Alibi
Head of the Class Bloody Mary at Jack’s Brunch Alibi – 9am to Close

Sheboygan County Food Service Inspector Doug Hatfield was shocked when he was served the, “Head of the Class Bloody Mary.”

“I’d never seen a bloody Mary that cost over seven dollars- not ever.  The human head, while unique and certainly novel, sent up a red flag for me.”  After finishing the drink, Hatfield asked to inspect the food preparation area.  “There were towels hanging over preparation areas, tripping hazards in walkways, and dismembered bodies.”

Sheboygan County Sheriff, Karl Kamanski had strong words at a news conference today.

“The race for the best and most outrageous bloody Mary must stop.  It’s a game of mutually assured destruction in which prices are driven up while the quality of our brunch cocktails is often ignored in favor of what I call, “glam drinks.”  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the employees displaced by this morning’s closure, as well as those of the slain garnish…”