The Legend at Southard and Whitehead -Key West, Fl
Over the years the Green Parrot has evolved into a Key West icon. Originally built as a grocery store in 1890 by Antonio Sanchez serving Cuban and Bahamian transplants rice, beans, rum, and cigars.
The place became legendary for jam sessions that were held in the back of the place. Later it was a hangout for Navy submarine sailors stationed blocks away. Back then it was known as the Old Brown Derby. Located just blocks from Ernest Hemingway’s home, it’s easy to imagine Papa or his character Harry Morgan sauntering down the street for a drink here.
“What’s she having?”
“A Cuba Libre.”
“I’ll have a straight whiskey.”
The island has seen its share of changes but not much has changed at the Parrot since those days. They still have regular live music. It spills out from the open windows and into the warm streets at night. A horseshoe-shaped bar allows patrons to all have a look at each other and converse if they like. The signed guitars on the wall and autographed photos boast a loyal clientele of heavy-hitting music icons like Jimmy Page, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, and Gary Ujifusa.
Okay, okay, so it’s a cool place but can they make a bloody? You bet! I can’t say that I tried every bloody Mary on the island. (God and my liver know I tried!) I can say that the Green Parrot Bar had the best I found. Served in a tall slender glass with a garnish of only two pickled green beans and a fresh lime wedge, this drink is more about quality than quantity. For a little extra, they’ll beef it up to a pint glass. Do it if you’re from Wisconsin. A beer chaser, (a snit to our Minnesota friends), will cost you extra. Ordinarily this might annoy me. I don’t think I could get annoyed at the corner of Whitehead and Southard.
Naturally, I spent some time talking with the nice bartender.
“I wasn’t drinking alone, I was with the bartender!- Rob Smith, 1996”
Dani was kind enough to share the recipe for my readers. They make a mud of sorts, in advance. Much like Demitri’s mixes, this keeps the flavors from breaking down in the tomato juice.
Green Parrot Key West Bloody Mary Recipe,
author: Greg Tooke”
description: Bloody Mary recipe from the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West Florida
prep mins 3
yield: 1 glass
fat count: .22g
- 6 oz Sacramento Tomato Juice
- 1.5 oz Smirnoff Vodka
- tsp Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire
- pinch Cayenne Pepper
- pinch of Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Prepared Fresh Horseradish
- pinch of Celery Salt
- dash of the Brine From Caribe Pickled Beans
- Fresh Lime Wedge
Instructions: In advance, mix all ingredients except tomato juice, vodka, and lime. When you’re ready for a delicious bloody Mary, add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with pickled green beans.]
Did you find a better bloody Mary in KW? Let us know!
Check out the Parrot on Facebook
Gourmet Cocktails of the World
I recently came across an interesting travel blog. As many of my readers know, one of my favorite things to do when traveling is take in the local cocktails. Originally crafted by Claudio Antonino in Leeds UK, at a bar called the Maven, this bloody Mary variations combines some interesting flavor combinations, including lemongrass and chili infused vodka. It comes to us courtesy of Cocktails of the World – a great resource for those who love transporting to world locations through the magic of cocktail cuisine.
Gather up your cocktail shaker, these ingredients, and a thirst for new bloody Mary experiences. Enjoy the Twisted Mary.
Cheers! -Greg TookeMy short bio
When is it Too Late to Order a Bloody Mary?
About twenty years ago, I stepped up to a bar in Wisconsin and ordered a bloody Mary. It was 1am.
“I ain’t makin’ that. It’s too late,” was the bartender’s response. This from a man who had just happily waited while three patrons slowly lined up to have upside-down shots poured in the area of their mouths.
“I’m sure the owner would be glad to hear that,” I said. What happened next was quite a sight. He climbed on top of the bar and was suddenly airborne descending rapidly upon me. One of us wound up in the hospital, the other with an even greater thirst for bloody Mary’s.
Bloody Mary’s are certainly associated with mornings. Whiskey tends to be an evening drink. If I order a whiskey at 9am, or a bloody at 9pm, shut your mouth and make it. Thanks. – Greg Tooke My short bio