Brunch is one of the few meals where it's acceptable to have more glasses in front of you than utensils. One of those is usually a Bloody Mary, whether you want to start the day on a boozy note or are recovering from an even boozier night before. Plus, with the arrival of Chicago's third annual Bloody Mary Fest in May, the love of vodka-spiked tomato juice has never been stronger. Here are a dozen restaurants offering unique versions of the classic cocktail during weekend brunch service.Read More
12 of Chicago's Best Bloody Marys, Mapped
The brunch beverage of champions
1. Cherry Circle Room
Paul McGee's version of a Bloody Mary, served in the sophisticated restaurant within Chicago Athletic Association hotel, is dubbed the Red Snapper. It features gin, sherry, tomato, spices, and smoke bomb sea salt.
2. Dove's Luncheonette
Tired of the traditional Bloody Mary? Meet the Bloody Maria. A tequila-infused alternative to the savory cocktail uses Hacienda reposado, house mix, smoked black pepper, lime, house hellfire bitters, and Pacífico beer.
A mixture of roasted poblano peppers, roasted tomatillos, tomato juice, spices and horseradish acts as the base for this gourmet Bloody Mary that is served with North Shore vodka in a celery salt rimmed pint glass. It is garnished with olives, pickle, and a charcuterie kabob.
Upgrade your Bloody Mary with the Bloody Hammer, a spicy creation that uses the house Bloody Mary mix in addition to Stoli vodka and a splash of Guinness. It is garnished with cherry peppers and the shining star: a fried pickled that was soaked in spiked tomato juice before taking a dip in the deep fryer.
5. Headquarters Beercade
The beercade takes its Bloody Mary game seriously, from a Chicago-style one made with au jus-infused Stoli and topped with an Italian Beef sandwich, to the Buffalo Bill, which combines basil and garlic-infused vodka, with house Bloody Mary mix, and Frank’s wing sauce. It is served in a ranch salt-rimmed glass that’s garnished with chicken wings.
For those mornings when you roll out of bed with a series of questionable life choices lingering behind you, there’s a Bloody Mary waiting at this Lincoln Park pizzeria with a cold slice of Hawaiian-style ‘za on top. Other additions include pepperoni, pepperoncini, and a High Life chaser.
7. Longman & Eagle
With not one but three versions on the menu, there's a Bloody Mary for everyone at Longman. Start the weekend with the classic (vodka), Bloody Larry (whiskey), or Bloody Maria (Tequila). Each is made with house Bloody Mary mix, created by veteran Longman bartender Marta Jean Evans. It’s garnished with lemon and lime, a mini pickle, and a chunk of sharp cheddar cheese.
8. Smoke Daddy
Turn your Bloody Mary into a meal at this BBQ spot that tops it with smoked brisket and pulled pork. The drink is served with a beer chaser. Fans of the creation can take home a bottle of the Smokin’ Bloody Mary mix – a blend of tomato and BBQ sauce.
9. The Duck Inn
Aylesbury Duck vodka sets this Bloody Mary apart from the rest. The spice notes play well with San Marzano tomato puree that is seasoned with a house seasoning mix and dash of lemon. For a cocktail that is hardly considered complicated, it has surprising depth of flavor.
10. The Publican
This might be a beer and whiskey house, but they sure do a good job combining vodka and housemade Bloody Mary mix. The kicker is a dash of celery bitters, also made in house, that brightens up this brunch beverage. For an extra dash of acid, the drink is topped with assorted pickled vegetables.
11. Three Aces
The key to this Bloody Mary is not what's in the glass but what's around it. A bacon and chile salt-rimmed glass acts as a delicious vessel for Tito’s vodka, house Bloody Mary mix, and pickled vegetables. Enjoy it with a beer back for $1 more.
12. Twisted Spoke
One of the many claims to fame at this longtime dive is its Road Rash Mary Classic. It starts with homemade mix that is spiked with beer. Cover it in salami, pepperoncini, cocktail onions, and parmesan cheese and you have a Bloody Mary for the books.