Pairing Beer and Bloody Mary
The bloody Mary is one of the most complex and satisfying of cocktails. It isn’t just the number of ingredients or even the pile of garnishes that often adorn the cocktail. It’s the total experience. From the squeezing of fresh citrus and grinding of peppercorns to the feeling of an ice cold cocktail shaker as it blends the magic, this cocktail engages all of the senses. Moving through the stages should be a rich experience and should always end with a beer chaser. Just as our recipes often call for a particular garnish, likewise the right beer pairing can take your bloody Mary to the next level.
We’ve taken some of our most popular bloody Mary recipes and added a suggested beer pairing for each. In some cases, the beer serves to clear the palate and relieve a bit of heat. In others, it finishes what the bloody started.
The Best Bloody Mary Recipe: Our most popular bloody Mary is the classic or best bloody Mary recipe. It’s all about balance. It’s fresh, but it’s also savory. It’s spicy, but not too spicy. It’s no surprise that it’s our most popular blend and the first choice for most of our staff. It hits all the marks and, as our CEO describes, “it tastes like another.” So how does one follow that act? Keep it perfect. Our choice for beer pairing with the best bloody Mary is the best pilsner. The original pilsner in fact. Pilsner Urquell has been crafted in Pilsen, Czech Republic since 1842. They have it down. Like the perfect bloody Mary, it’s hard to stop at one.
The Caesar: The national cocktail of Canada, the Caesar, or bloody Caesar, features Clamato juice instead of the standard tomato juice. Clamato makes the Caesar a bit thinner but also quite savory. Great at picnics or the campground, the Caesar does well with another Canadian favorite, Molson Canadian. A smooth and uncomplicated ale, Molson picks up nicely where the Caesar leaves off and is light enough to not affect your game of horseshoes.
The Bloody Mary With Horseradish: A favorite among sports fans in the upper midwest, the horseradish bloody Mary has a fresh yet pungent presence that awakens catacombs of the ears, nose and throat. It sets the stage perfectly for the German wheat beer, hefeweizen. We’re particularly fond of the New Glarus Brewing Company’s Imperial Weizen. It’s a bit more bold than the typical hefe and can hold its own against a spicier bloody Mary. Like the horseradish bloody, it has a fresh complexity that isn’t too heavy. Try this beer pairing at your next tailgate party.
Spicy Bloody Mary: Some like it hot. We like it hot. Hot was the original reason for the beer chaser that follows a bloody Mary. Our three-tiered spicy recipe serves up stages and levels of heat, like Dante’s inferno. No lightweight pilsner is going to stand up against such an assault on the tongue. Wanna know what can? An India pale ale. The crisp bitterness of a good IPA is like a counter-punch to a right cross. Lagunitas IPA, from the Lagunitas Brewing Company . The piney hop aromas of this delicious beer will cut through the heat of our spicy bloody Mary and add a little something on top of it to remember.
The Bacon Bloody Mary: A staff favorite! Bacon. Just say it. You’ll feel better. Bacon. Mmm. This recipe doesn’t call for too much heat. It’s a rich and heavy dark bloody Mary. Light on spice and heavy on savory, the bacon bloody Mary is rich and satisfying. It could almost replace a meal. Add the smooth and delicious Downtown Brown Ale from the Pearl Street Brewing Company and let the journey continue. PSB’s DTB, (yeah, we’re all acronymy now), brings a nutty malt flavor with moderate sweetness. It’s a perfect complement to the salty roasted bacon flavor. Add a nice smoked gouda and a pickle spear to the bloody and this beer pairing has three legs to stand on and is what we like to call, “dinner.”
Let us leave you with this fine image. Cheers!
-Greg Tooke My short bio