It’s the ultimate hangover cure, a meal all in itself, and the ideal drink for Sunday brunch. Find out who has the best Bloody Mary game in town and how you can recreate the magic at home.
Written by Daniel Gonzales
The first cocktail I ever heard of was on an episode of Cheers. Sam Malone, Cliff, Woody, and the gang were plotting to beat their longtime nemesis Gary from Gary’s Olde Towne Tavern in the annual Bloody Mary contest. Since that airing on Must See TV, I’ve been intrigued about the Bloody Mary and what makes each bar and bartender’s version unique and special to their own tastes and creativeness.
Recently, Milk Money Vodka and New Mixico sponsored three regional Bloody Mary competitions across the great Land of Enchantment. At the Las Cruces event, held at The Pecan Grill & Brewery, some of Las Cruces’ most talented and creative bar artists arrived to showcase their abilities and create their own best versions of the tomato-based hangover remedy.
Seeing these different bartenders compete and create got me thinking about some of the best places in town to get this classic cocktail. So, I talked to the experts and got the lowdown on the best places to get them and the ingredients your Bloodys shouldn’t be without if you’re mixing at home.
Expert: Melissa Serrano, head bartender/manager at Halo’s
Background: Melissa has worked all over the world in the food and beverage industry for many years. She prides herself on her excellent and swift service, as well as creating tasty and fun cocktails.
Halo’s Mary: “Tito’s and Svedka are the vodkas we use most often for our Bloody Marys here. We are open in the evening, but I get requests for a lot more Bloody Marys than you’d think. I make them spicy and tasty!”
Secret Ingredient: “There are certainly
some secret ingredients in my mix that I won’t reveal, but the spicy mustard is key to making our Bloody mix.”
Where to get it: Visit Halo’s at 2460 Locust
St. and is open from 6pm-2am except Sundays when they close by midnight.
Jon Johnson, Head Bartender/Manager at Si Senor
Expert: Jon Johnson, head bartender/manager at Si Senor
Awards: 2017 New Mixico Regional Best Bloody Mary; 2017 Most Popular Bloody Mary in New Mexico; 2017 Runner up New Mixico Main Event “Tournament of Bartenders”
Si Senor’s Mary: “We offer Tito’s, Milk
Money, Effen Cucumber, and Grey Goose Le Citron vodkas, as well as our wide selection of tequilas, including our Patron Barrel Select with our bloody mix. Our Boody Mix is exceptional and consistent whenever you come in. The Bloody Mary is like a bartender’s fingerprint; they are all unique to each one.”
Secret Ingredient: “The garnish for sure is
vital to Bloody Mary experience, and the fact that we take the time to muddle all the ingredients to create the best and freshest flavors possible.”
Where to get it: Si Senor is located at 1551
E. Amador Ave. They are open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30am to 9pm and Friday and Saturday from 10:30am to 10pm.
Experts: Eric Owens, food and beverage regional director for Heritage Hotels (Hotel Encanto and Hilton Garden Inn) and Rhiannon Hardin, head bartender at Azul
Azul’s Mary: “I really love making Bloodys,” Rhiannon says. “We use many different vodkas for ours—Skyy, Absolut—but my favorite spirit in a Bloody Mary is scotch, like Dewar’s, it adds a real nice smoky finish.”
Special Touch: “Besides offering our Bloody Marys at Garduno’s and Azul, we have begun a new door hanger program where our hotel guests can pre-order any Absolut flavored vodka to pair with our house Mary mix, to be delivered promptly to their room at whatever time they like.”
Secret Ingredient: “Our house Bloody Mary mix includes some of our famous Garduno’s chile piquine salsa,” says Eric. “It gives it a very unique spice combination that sets our mix apart from others.”
Where to get it: Hotel Encanto is located at 705 South Telshor Blvd. Azul Ultralounge is open 5pm-10pm Monday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 4pm-2am.
Experts: Jodi Cullen and Eileen Bermudez, chief and head bartenders at Double Eagle
Double Eagle’s Mary: “We infuse roasted New Mexican green chile in Svedka vodka,” says Jodi. “People travel here to get their chile and hangover fix all in one glass.”
Secret Ingredient: “Definitely our Green Chile Svedka Infusion. Tourists love it because they’ve never had anything like it before. Locals know our infusion is the best way to quench that green chile craving,” says Eileen.
Where to get it: Double Eagle is located 2355 Calle de Guadalupe right off the Mesilla Plaza and is open every day from 11am-10pm.
Daniel Neal, General Manager at Pecan Grill & Brewery
Experts: Daniel Neal, general manager at Pecan Grill & Brewery and bar manager Cathy Bauer
Pecan Grill’s Mary: “We allow guests of our Bloody Mary bar to choose their own adventure with everything from the multiple types and flavors of vodka, like Effen Cucumber, or even our Pineapple Vanilla Tequila (PVT) if they dare,” says Bauer when asked about the Bloody Mary program available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Secret Ingredient: ““I would have to say our selection of hot sauces. We have a multitude of Bloody mixes, garnishes, and some of the most common hot sauces, and then some that are really different,” says Neal.
Where to get it: Pecan Grill is located at 500 S. Telshor Blvd. and is open Monday-Thursday 3pm-2am, Friday and Saturday 11am-2am, and Sunday from 10am-10pm.
Expert: Russell Hernandez, owner of Salud! de Mesilla
Salud’s Mary: “We wanted to get as creative as we could with our beer and wine license, so we use wine based spirits and Saki, such as Ty Ku Cucumber, in place of your traditional vodka or tequila. Our Bloody Mary bar is fun and gives our guests the opportunity to customize their cocktails exactly how they want. Our Bloody Mary bar is the perfect complement to our menu, which serves amazing tapas and breakfast all day.”
Secret Ingredient: “Besides the jalapeno bacon, the secret ingredient is YOU, the guest. You make your Bloody the way YOU want it!”
Where to get it: Salud! is located at 1800 Avenida de Mesilla and is open 11am-9pm Wednesday and Thursday, 11am-10pm on Friday, and 9am-10pm Saturday and Sunday.
Salud! Bloody Mary Bar
We asked our experts to chime in on where they go when they’re off the clock to get an amazing Bloody Mary.
- “Sunset Grill or NMSU Golf Course.”
- “I just had an amazing Bloody Mary at Pecan Grill the other day!”
- “I like Si Senor or the one Melissa makes at Halos.”
- “El Patio!”
- “Si Senor”
- “Hotel Encanto, Dublin’s, or wherever Rhiannon Hardin is working.”
P.S. The cousin to the Bloody Mary is the Red Beer, and the most common recommendations for best Red Beer were The Warehouse, El Patio, Palacio’s, Game I, and Game II.