The Bloody Mary Club – Cookshop NYC

The Bloody Mary Club

Richa and I went to Cookshop for a late brunch after we caught a matinee of Guards at the Taj (you have two more weeks to go see it – go!) Cookshop is operated by Marc Meyer, who runs two other restaurants in New York. The decor was lovely inside, very light and airy. It was raining, and a breeze came in through the front door. Neither of us had been before, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. The service was terrible, but the food was great. But let me tell you about the Bloody Marys – winner winner chicken dinner!

Left to Right: BLT Mary, Pickled Mary

Cookshop had five Bloody Marys on the menu. (Their menu online is outdated, be warned!) I ordered the Pickled Mary, which was vodka, pickle + tomato juice, topped with a pickle, pickled red onions, olives, lemon, and celery. There was a nice smoky salt rim. The pickle, tomato, and lemon combination is very acidic, but served as a nice counterbalance to the creaminess of eggs, cheese, and grits.

Richa ordered the BLT Mary – bacon infused vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix, topped with bacon, lettuce, and olives. The vodka was insanely smoky and bacon-y, and the BLT Mary was very spicy. Richa loves drinks with a bit of heat, so it was the perfect choice for her. Too bad there was a fly in her first drink! If the waitress had been attentive enough, I would have ordered a BLT Mary as my second drink. Alas, the waitress knew what was better for me and thought one drink was enough.

The drinks were a little watery and thin for our tastes, but the flavor was amazing. After we ate, Richa and I reminisced on all of the Ghosts of Marys Past, and we crowned the Cookshop Bloody Mary as our new favorite. The reign of the abck mary is over!

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Cheat Sheet:

Pickled Mary
Liquor Base: Vodka
Viscosity/Texture: A little watery
Spice: Not so much spicy as nicely acidic and vinegary
Fixin’s: Celery, pickles, pickled onions, olives, and a lemon wedge
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

BLT Mary
Liquor Base: Bacon Infused Vodka
Viscosity/Texture: A little watery
Spice: Absolutely amazing – not for the faint of heart
Fixin’s: Bacon, lettuce, olives
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Cookshop is located at 156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011. http://cookshopny.com/

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The Bloody Mary Club: ABC Kitchen

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We had such a good time at ABC Cocina that we decided to hit up ABC Kitchen this month. The two restaurants are right next to each other and are only separated by a glass partition. ABC Kitchen is connected to ABC Home, and it had slightly more traditional decor than ABC Cocina did. Everything was clean and crisp, and we were served with shabby-chic china with rose patterns and mis-matched cutlery. I didn’t take any photos there, mainly because it was early and I forgot my camera as I dashed out the door Saturday morning, so I’ll keep this short and simple.

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(Photo from the ABC Kitchen website)

Richa had train-issues and wasn’t able to join us, but Iris and I happily split the buttermilk cheddar biscuits (deliciously overpriced, and you can ask for a side of jam). Iris’s mushroom and egg pizza was the star of the brunch, while the omelette I ordered was a well-executed but kind of boring entree. The egg was a perfect fluffy yellow, but the potatoes were bland and the presentation was lacking. If I go back, I’d order the pizza in a heartbeat. It’s really heavy and packed though, so I’d recommend splitting this and a lighter entree with a friend.

The Bloody Mary on ABC Kitchen’s menu is called the “abck bloody mary.” It contains housemade lemon vodka and was a little thicker and spicier than its “Sherry Mary” sister at ABC Cocina. It came in an identical glass, but with an added olive. I am not a fan of olives, so I always take them out of the drink, but this was just another sign of the slightly more traditional fare on the ABC Kitchen menu. Just when I thought I found a winner at ABC Cocina, I actually preferred the spicier and less sweet Mary here. The lemon vodka wasn’t as sour and overpowering as Oyamel’s “Bloody Maria”, so I was able to enjoy the drink from beginning to end! We’re going to Jacob’s Pickles next month, so stay tuned!

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Cheat Sheet:
Liquor Base: Vodka
Viscosity/Texture: A little thicker than at ABC Cocina – almost slightly pulpy, but not quite chewy. I rather liked it!
Spice: It had a very nice heat to it, you may want to take a sip of water in between sips.
Fixin’s: A lemon wedge and an olive
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

ABC Kitchen is located at 35 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003. www.abchome.com/eat/abc-kitchen/

The Bloody Mary Club: ABC Cocina

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A Brief History of the Bloody Mary Club: Living in New York City is full of pros but there are a few cons – mainly it can take an hour to travel ten miles. Two of my best friends, Richa & Iris (hi guys!), live on the Other Islands – Staten Island and Long Island. While these ladies are such troopers for surviving a long commute to work every day, it is hard for us to find time to see each other. Last year, we committed to a monthly brunch, so that we’d see each other at least once a month.

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The Bloody Mary Club, from Left to Right: Richa, Jessica, Iris

You know it’s true love when your friends are willing to wake up at 9am in order to make it to brunch by noon. (Richa is usually late though.) Richa and Iris love Bloody Marys as much as I do, so our monthly brunches quickly turned into a running tally and ranking of all the different Bloody Marys that we’ve tried together. After half a year, I’ve finally decided to get it together and start documenting our drinks and our opinions. We all like our drinks slightly differently, so we often end up picking very different things. No complaints here, it makes it possible to try a bunch of cocktails. Onto the drinks!

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IMG_0763For April brunch, we went to Jean-George’s ABC Cocina. This is the newer sister to ABC Kitchen, which is right next door. It is a modern and trendy space that pays a lot of attention to the details. Everything was concrete and reclaimed wood and barnacles (trust me, it looked pretty great) and all in-line with the ABC Home aesthetic. We ordered WAY too much food, but somehow managed to eat it all. The highlights were the crispy fish tacos, the spring pea guacamole, and the churros. Next time I go back, that may be all I order, and no, I won’t be sharing with anyone! However, the pina coladas that we ordered were so disgusting that no one could take more than one sip. I’ve never sent something back before, but we really considered it this time.

The Bloody Mary was called a “Sherry Mary” which was a combination of sherry, tomato juice, mystery spices, and a lemon wedge. I saw a few people putting drops of the famous habanero hot sauce into the drink as well, but I found the Sherry Mary to be a great balance as is. Although I am not a huge fan of sherry, it added just the right amount of sweetness to offset the tart tomato juice. It was a great consistency – a tiny amount of tomato pulp, without feeling like you had to chew your drink (ew!) I got a drink at the bar while I waited for Richa and Iris to show up, and mine was so good that Richa immediately ordered one too! Richa said the Sherry Mary was: “The perfect combination of sherry and tomato; it was slightly spicy and slightly sweet.” Iris added that there was a good portion-size too. Overall, a real crowd-pleaser at our table. We are going to be a little predictable and try ABC Kitchen next month – stay tuned!

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Cheat Sheet:
Liquor Base: Sherry
Viscosity/Texture: The perfect thickness! Jean-Georges knows what he’s doing!
Spice: It was flavorful and spicy enough for me, but adventurous people would probably want an extra splash of habanero sauce.
Fixin’s: A lemon wedge
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ABC Cocina is located at 38 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003. www.abchome.com/eat/abc-cocina/

The Bloody Mary Club: Oyamel

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Oyamel

I was in Washington D.C. recently for the cherry blossom festival – it was one of those spur of the moment things that I decided needed to be done. I went without making any concrete plans or having an itinerary of things I wanted to do while I was in D.C. If you know me at all, this is the complete opposite of how I generally function. I like to have maps, to-do lists, and read reviews when I travel so that every hour of my day is neatly laid out. It was a nice change of pace to just wing it and take things as they come. I arrived in D.C. on Saturday around noon and met up with my college roommate, Jessie, who was kind enough to join me for the last minute trip, and we ended up going to Oyamel for lunch.Credit: Lincoln Brower

Here’s a fun fact before we start talking about drinks – an oyamel is a kind of fir tree native to Southern Mexico. Oyamel fir forests are most notable for being the destination of the annual monarch butterfly migrations. The trees literally become covered in butterflies until the tree is barely visible. These are the most endangered types of forests in Mexico right now, and wow are they beautiful! This explains the butterfly motif that was everywhere in the restaurant’s decor.

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Oyamel is a Jose Andres restaurant. Jose Andres is apparently a bit of a D.C. celebrity chef, which I didn’t know until about 15 minutes before walking into Oyamel. I am usually not a huge tapas fan, IMG_0663because I end up spending too much money and still hungry. Oyamel had pretty hearty portion-sizes, however, and I left feeling satiated but not stuffed. But I am not here to tell you about the food – the only things that I generally like about brunch are seeing my friends and Bloody Marys.

Oyamel has named theirs the “Bloody Maria” which is mezcal or tequila based, the glass is rimmed with Sal de Gusano (more on that in a minute), and topped off with a dash of lime juice and a lime peel twirl on top. Sal de Gusano is an Oaxacan spice made out of salt, chili, and ground up agave worms. That’s right, the little worms at the bottom of tequila bottles! If I had known this before I ordered, I might have hesitated, but I’m glad I didn’t. There was a nice heat to the drink, but I was a little lime-d out by the halfway point. I would have liked the drink to have been a little thicker as the lime juice really watered down the tomato sangrita, but overall, it was a very refreshing and nice take on the Bloody Mary.

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Cheat Sheet:
Liquor Base: Tequila
Viscosity/Texture: It was a little more watery than I would have liked
Spice: There was a good heat added by the sal de gusano, but by the end, the lime juice washes out the spices
Fixin’s: A lime garnish, nothing too fancy. I’m a big fan of celery in Bloody Marys
Overall Rating: 2.25 out of 5

Oyamel is located at 401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004. http://www.oyamel.com

So wow – the end of my first blog post! Thank you for bearing with me while I figure out how to make pictures of Bloody Marys more fun, and stay tuned! I’ll be introducing the Bloody Mary club and writing about ABC Cocina next week.