If you're into brunching (some of us are, and others write huge diatribes against it), you know that one drink is heralded above all others in the cocktail arena: the Bloody Mary. It's perfect to enjoy with your eggs and toast, or, in more special and laudable cases, can be both the drink and the meal. As a tribute to those instances, we've compiled a list of the best, most insane Bloody Marys from across our great nation. There are no simple feats of mixology here. Just the ballsiest breakfast drinks around. Because sometimes you need vodka with your bacon skewers.
Dallas, TX What you’re getting: F**k Brunch If you agree with the sentiment that the name of this Bloody Mary expresses, it’s pretty much the only way to go -- you can eschew a standard brunch for a cocktail topped with a bacon cheeseburger slider, shrimp, cheese, a hot dog, pickled asparagus & okra, an onion ring, and plenty of other stuff that’ll publicize your discontent. Plus, it comes with a PBR, for when you’re feeling extra brooding.
San Diego, CA What you’re getting: Bloody Mary Superior Ranked the number one Bloody Mary in a city that has one with a grilled baguette topped with manchego and chorizo, the Bloody Mary Superior at Small Bar has clearly distinguished itself from the pack. It’s made with house-made Bloody mix, Guinness, steak sauce, and chili-garlic vodka, plus garnishes like beer-candied bacon, mushrooms, and spicy green beans. Oh yeah, and it comes with a free bag of pork rinds. Hail Mary!
Milwaukee, WI What you’re getting: The Beast You’d think that, just by serving their Bloody Marys in gigantic gallon-sized jars, Sobelman’s would have done enough to warrant inclusion on this list. But they didn’t stop there -- OH NO THEY DIDN’T. Their Beast Bloody Mary is a tribute to meat, and features bacon-wrapped jalapeño cheese balls, sliders, fried chicken (they even did a version with an entire chicken on top), and a slew of other garnishes. There's also celery. For health.
Watauga, TX What you’re getting: Bloody Best When a Bloody Mary includes “Better Than Sex Fried Chicken,” you know it’s quite possibly the “best.” As advertised, this behemoth Bloody contains a double order of their spicy mix, comes with your choice of beer, and is garnished with chicken, shrimp, waffle fries, bacon, jalapeños, a Nolan Ryan beef slider, and more.
Denver, CO What you’re getting: The Ultimate Bloody Can a Bloody Mary bite back? Or can it only sip? Either way, this one does just that by being supremely spicy, owing to its recipe of chile-poached shrimp, spicy asparagus, house-made pickles, bacon, and cheese. Kosher? No. Delicious? Yes.
Washington, DC What you’re getting: Pantera There’s something a little fishy about a Bloody Mary that contains seafood stock and is called “Pantera” -- until you realize that it’s completely black due to the additional inclusion of squid ink. This briny, deep drink is capped off with red onions, celery, smoked tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, salt, grilled peppers, and, yes, a tentacle. Yarrr.
Chicago, IL What you’re getting: Sumo Mary Even the most Asian-inspired Bloody Mary on our list can’t avoid being piled high with bacon. Served up in a decked-out Mason jar, the Sumo Mary comes with lumpia, Chinese broccoli, oshinko pickles, duck bao... as well as grilled cheese, herb-roasted potatoes, braised pork belly, and that bacon we talked about. It's the craziest in Chicago, but by a pretty slim margin.
Oceanside, CA What you’re getting: BBQ Bloody Mary Probably the most red-blooded American Bloody out there, the BBQ Bloody Mary from That Boy Good makes up for its general lack of mountainousness (it’s inspired by HILL country, after all) by being ridiculously smoky and spicy in true BBQ fashion. It’s got a meat rub rim, hot BBQ sauce, celery, lime, hot pickled green beans, and a big ol’ rib on top.
Seattle, WA What you’re getting: Smoked Salmon Mary This popular Seattle brunch spot boasts a whopping seven different Bloody Mary options, but their best (and most Pacific Northwest-iest) one has got to be the Smoked Salmon Mary, which incorporates smoked salmon VODKA for a decidedly Seattle kick.
Austin, TX What you’re getting: Hail Mary Star Bar’s legendary Hail Mary isn’t just a cocktail. It’s a full meal, from appetizers to entrees to desserts, all in one glass. That’s because it contains: a hot dog, hickory-smoked bacon, garlic shrimp, onion rings, a slider, two chicken nuggets, crab meat, deviled eggs, pickled okra, cheese, pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, and a cinnamon roll, so you don’t ever need to order anything else. Ever again. Except maybe another cocktail.
Portland, OR What you're getting: The Olympic Mary The Bloody from Portland's best spot for all things cured meat may be the most logical choice of all the cocktails on this list. Made with house-made mix, it's garnished with a kebab of pickled veggies, a pickled egg, and a slice of salami, making it a truly balanced breakfast. If you're Chuck Bukowski.
Atlanta, GA What you’re getting: Bloody Best It’s not the first Mary to be gifted with the moniker of “Bloody Best,” but it just might be the ultimate one. This 32oz monster is stacked with a steak skewer, tater tots, pepperoncinis, jalapeños, a slice of toast, lemon, lime, and a hard-boiled egg. And the best part? You drink it all up using a beef straw. Well, not the solid parts.
Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and occasionally likes some vodka with his bacon, too. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.