This mix first caught my eye on Instagram. They tell a good story and make the mix look good. From their website:
Kickled Mary was born from my family’s pickle recipe passed down five generations from my Polish ancestors. Making pickles was a big part of my childhood and continues to be a passion my wife, daughter, and many of our friends now share. So, how did Kickled Mary come to be? Well, many of our friends told us they used the brine from our pickles when making homemade Bloody Mary’s (because yes, it is that good). So in 2019 we decided to create a premium Bloody Mary mix using our rich, spicy pickle brine as the base. We toiled many fun hours, days, weekends, perfecting the recipe, because, as we all know, Bloody Marys have to be perfect. Thus, a star was born!
I drink lots of bloody Mary’s. My Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of images of homemade bloody Mary’s and bottled mixes. As a judge in Bloody Mary contests around the country I get to try tons of mixes. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t realize that I had already tried Kickled Mary before deciding to do a review. It was at the Milwaukee Bloody Mary Festival where they earned the People’s Choice Award for Best Bloody Mary Mix! (Both am and pm sessions)
As I took my first review sip, I knew the mix was familiar. I also knew that it was very good.
What’s on the Outside?
I always start with a visual review of the bottle. This has a farmer’s market looking jar instead of a bottle. Makes one think of fresher ingredients. Smart. Looking through the glass, the mix has a dark red color and tiny bits of solids can be seen.
Onto the ingredients:
“Ground tomatoes!” I like it. That explains the little bits of solids floating around. Nothing too funky in this list. Let’s take a drink.
I always start by tasting a mix on its own- no vodka. This first taste revealed a tangy but savory balance of flavors that I’d almost describe as tart. I definitely can pick out the pickle brine flavor. Nice. The mix is fairly thin but with tiny chewable shards of ground tomatoes and peppers. Not everyone likes that. I do.
The addition of vodka, (I used a Polish Rye), mellows the flavor out a bit. It took a bit of the tart out and seemed to balance out the flavors better than without. My assistant disagreed, as she often does. She prefers the full on flavor without vodka. She likened it to a nice Italian dressing. I can see that. Might be really good drizzled onto a sandwich!
Overall I give this mix very high marks. I like the packaging, I like the texture, and I really appreciate the balance- something many mixes fall short on. They get all hopped up on something- horseradish for example, and beat you over the head with it. This mix has all the flavors you’d want in a bloody, with a fresh disposition and very drinkable consistency. It’s not a one and done kind of Bloody Mary. I poured a second.
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