I once had a delicate morning beverage made with the water strained from the pulp of summer tomatoes, vodka infused with rosemary and a hint of citrus. The drink was crystal clear with a faint rosy hue, and it tasted like a fresh garden tinged with the warm burn of alcohol. It was understated and refined and light on the palate.
It was, in other words, everything a Bloody Mary isn't.
But when you're good and hung you need something more than a light summery beverage to beat your misery away. Savory, spice, the umami of a tomato and a heavy pour of alcohol is what makes the bloody a hangover ass-kicker. Here are five of our favorites, including our recent Best of Dallas winner for Best Bloody Mary. Get more of Dallas' best with our Best Of app, available for the Droid and the iPhone.
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Monica's Aca y Alla The best pay-for-it-with-the-change-you-find-in-your-couch Bloody Mary (pictured above) If it's the end of the month and your bills are due, or you're otherwise strapped for cash, Monica's hooks it up on the cheap. This big, spicy and thick Bloody Mary is an absolute savior in the event you blew through your checking account the night prior.
Bolsa Best doctor-up-the-mix Bloody Mary Zing Zang may be one of the best prepared Bloody Mary mixes available, and Bolsa uses it brilliantly as a flavor base. Angostura bitters, olive juice and cracked black pepper embellish the mix, which, used with jalapeno- and habenero-infused vodka, makes for a delightfully spicy morning drink.
Smoke The it's-so-awesome-we-romanticized-it-with-Instagram Bloody Mary Spice, grit and a thick viscous texture, garnished with house pickled green beans, carrots and a jalapeno. Chef Tim Byers is one of the few in this list man enough to make his own mix. It was good enough to earn a Best Of Dallas in 2010 and it's good enough to make our favorites this year as well. Don't forget to check your teeth for pepper when you're done. Vickery Park The best Bloody Mary with a side of eclecticism Vickery Park has long been a mainstay for a decent brunch and good bar food, but it's the eclectic crowd that makes this Knox-Henderson bar a worthy destination. Made of one part hipster and one part neighborhood local, with a dash of designer denim from nearby Uptown, you get a good bar crowd and a Bloody Mary that has something for everyone.
Meridian Room Dallas' best Bloody Mary The green onions pictured above haven't been sighted by City of Ate recently, but Meridian Room's Bloody Mary still reigns as Dallas' best. Spicy, boozy and with enough garnish to stock a salad bar, your Sunday-morning hangover and your afternoon productivity don't stand a chance.