Archive for October, 2014

Over the weekend, I visited Cedarburg for a little fall fun–pumpkins and wine!

I had heard the Anvil Pub & Grille had a good Bloody Mary, so I popped in to check it out.

Anvil Pub and Grille Bloody Mary

Mix: Zing Zang

Chaser:Yes–choose from the four they have on tap. I chose Anvil Light

Fixin’s: Beefstick, Olive, Pickle, Mushroom, Lemon

Price: $6.50

Like everything in downtown Cedarburg, this place was “rustic” and cute. It felt warm and cozy on a brisk fall day and had I been hungry, I would have ordered food because the plates coming out of the kitchen looked fantastic.

However, this Bloody Mary was just average. They use Zing Zang, so you know it tastes good, but the fixin’s are pretty tame. The price is decent for the size of the drink and the choice of chaser raises it up a notch.

I did see that they have a Build Your Own Bloody Bar on Sundays… dang it, one day too early. I would definitely come back here on a Sunday to check it out.


Thanks to Cicero Beverage Company for sending me its new Bacon Bloody Mary Mix to review!

Cicero Bacon Bloody Mix

Between going “out for bloodies” and my travel schedule, it usually takes a special occasion for me to make them at home; this time, I broke out the bottle to make Bloodies with some friends on a Sunday Funday.

To keep the test pure, I sampled the mix with an unflavored Three Olives. I did not add any spices, but I topped the drink with olives, celery, cheese, meat, a pickle and a brussels sprout.

Cicero Bacon Bloody Mix 1

Cicero Beverage Company is a local family-owned Chicagoland company  that makes award-winning sodas in addition to Bloody Mary Mix.

They current have three different Bloody Mary Mixes: Premium, Horseradish and Bacon. All of these mixes are made with the highest quality ingredients and are gluten-free.

The Bacon Bloody Mary Mix is the newest addition to this lineup and it received a 2014 BevStar Award from Beverage World Magazine.It is currently sold at Cost Plus World Market Stores nationwide and distributed in 12 states.

And this is where we come in. A company rep wanted to spread the word, so they reached out to me and sent me a sample.

The verdict? All of us agreed–the mix was very good! It was the perfect consistency and had a nice flavor to it. It is not spicy hot in my opinion, it just has a nice overall taste. The bacon flavor is not overpowering; there are small pieces of dehydrated (I think) bacon in it, which give it some texture, too.

Thanks again to the good folks at Cicero for the sample!



The St. Regis Hotel, the birthplace of the Bloody Mary), is celebrating the drink’s 80th birthday this year!

You can now buy their mix in a bottle and a Bloody Mary Book.



For our review of our pilgrimage to the St. Regis in NYC, click here.

After golfing at Fire Ridge today in Grafton, Wis., I stopped in at the 19th hole, their restaurant called Flannery’s, for a beverage.

I have been here many times and have previously reviewed their Bloody Mary, but immediately, I noticed something new.

Flannerys (1)

Yes, an entire Bloody Mary menu with FIVE different Bloody Marys to choose from.

Flannery's Bloody Mary


Although they all sounded enticing, I was a little hungry, so I went for the Slider & Curds:

Flannery's Bloody Mary


Mix: They use Sacramento! And the special Bloody Mary menu calls for  use of Icelandic Reyka Vodka.

Chaser: Yes, a Pony!

Fixin’s: This one came with an olive, celery, two pickles, four curds and a slider with cheese on a pretzel bun

Price: $9.50

It was a cold and rough day out on the course, but this Bloody Mary more than made up for it. Amazing!

And, I learned something new! This Flannery’s is related to the Flannery’s located in downtown Milwaukee (which also supposedly has a Bloody Mary menu that I have yet to try–I am guessing they are one in the same or at least very similar). Interesting!

I would highly recommend you stop in to one of the Flannery’s for a special Bloody Mary. Well worth it! Next time, I am going to try the Cajun Shrimp and Peppers!

On Saturday, I attended the East Town Association’s Heat it Up Event, a Bloody Mary & Chili tasting at Cathedral Square Park in downtown Milwaukee for the third year in a row.


Heat It Up takes place in a fenced in area in Cathedral Square Park. Each establishment has a table under a tent and participants line up in front of each one to claim their samples. You don’t get to experience the actual atmosphere of the restaurant (and they don’t get the benefit of you potentially buying additional food/beverage), but it is easy for the participant. You maximize your tasting time and you’re surrounded solely by people who share your passion.


Heat It Up went up in price to $30 this year ($25 last year), but for that price, you UNLIMITED get samples of 16 different Bloodies and 17 chilis.
Heat it Up Milwaukee

Heat it Up offers the awesome combination of Bloody Marys AND chili.The samples are ample-sized and, even though only a couple of places offered a beer chaser, excellent. In my opinion, they are a fair representation of each establishment’s actual Bloody….BECAUSE THEY ALLOW ACCOUTREMENTS (unlike the Tomato Romp).


Each participant is allowed to vote for one chili and one bloody mary. Thus, the announced winners were as follows:

1st Place Chili – Miller Time Pub*
2nd Place Chili – Burke’s Irish Castle/Maxie’s (Tie!)
3rd Place Chili- Saz’s

1st Place Bloody Mary – Benelux
2nd Place Bloody Mary – Miller Time Pub*
3rd Place Bloody Mary -Maxie’s

*Also got my vote!

This year, weather was a bit of a factor. It was the first very cold day we’ve had in quite some time and there was a threat of rain in the area, so our group blew through the event, making it to ALL stations in record time. Yes, that’s right, we sipped each Bloody Mary and tasted each chili in under two hours.

Thus, the experience wasn’t quite as enjoyable as years past, but that was not the fault of the event organizers by any means.

In our rush to circulate, it was hard to keep track of everything, so we’ll give you a few highlights of the Bloodies that stood out:

1) The No.1 Bloody from 2013, from Miller Time pub, got my vote again this year as well. A beefstick, shrimp and jalapeno popper among other items make this a meal in itself.

Miller Time Pub Bloody Mary

2) St. Francis Brewery

Their “Packers Bloody Mary” was green, using tomatillos, and included an entire (cold) Klement’s Sausage and a Wisconsin Cheese Curd. Good in theory, but didn’t quite do it for us:

St. Francis Brewery Packers Bloody Mary

3) Benelux

It’s no surprise Benelux won. They, along with their Lowlands Group counterparts, excel at Bloodies in Milwaukee.

Cafe Benelux Bloody Mary

4) Maxie’s

This isn’t the Bloody I am used to getting at Maxie’s (usually it contains a shrimp and is spicier), but this was pretty good, as well.

Maxies Bloody Mary

5) Wicked Hop

Wicked Hop dazzled here, I thought. They’re one of the best bloodies in Milwaukee already, so I was surprised to see they didn’t even rank here. Odd.

Wicked Hop Bloody Mary


6) Tochi

This one was made with sake as the base (aka a “Bloody Geisha”)…Let’s just say that isn’t for everyone.

Tochi Bloody Mary Sake


Note that 3 of the 5 establishments I called out in last year’s review (McBob’s, Millioke and Blue Jacket) did not return to this event in 2014.

This event is a great deal and was sold out again this year. I highly encourage you to check it out next year—and to stop in to each of these establishments to do you own tastings in the meantime!

The Walker’s Point area of Milwaukee is blowing up with great restaurant/bar options and Zak’s Cafe is no exception.

I had recently dined at Zak’s for lunch and was disappointed that I was unable to try their Bloody Mary at that time (it was a working lunch).

However, when looking for a place to have dinner last Friday, I remembered how good Zak’s was and our group stopped in there. Amid the comfort foods that Zak’s is known for (Chicken and Dumplings, Meat Loaf, Mac N’ Cheese), they also have an excellent drink menu.

I finally ordered my Bloody Mary and was told that there was a “Ranch” option. So, I tried that first:

Zaks Cafe Ranch Bloody Mary


Then, for my second drink, I tried their original Bloody Mary:

Zaks Cafe Bloody Mary


Here is a combined rating for both of these options.

Mix:Homemade. The ranch one did not really taste like “ranch” to me (Did they use a powdered mix? A dab of dressing? The world may never know), but it was my favorite. Very flavorful. The original Bloody must have been made with a heavy hand on either A1 Sauce or Worcesterchire Sauce.


Fixin’s: Both inlcuded: Lemon, Pickle, Celery and Beef Stick. The ranch version included a piece of cheese and an olive and the original had a carrot.

Price: $?

Zak’s is a cute little place in an up and coming area. I would definitely return here again and I can’t wait to try out other restaurants in the area!

I recently had the distinct pleasure of dining at Milwaukee Country Club in River Hills, Wis. following a round of golf.

Along with my lunch, I ordered a Bloody Mary:

Milwaukee CCSince this is a private club, I won’t do a full review of this Bloody Mary, but I did want to note that although it looks fairly simple, it was delicious. It tasted like a homemade mix–maybe just tomato juice and vodka with horseradish and spices mixed in.

If you ever have the opportunity of visiting, I highly recommend you order one!