Wisconsin takes Bloody Marys seriously, very seriously. Throughout the state, bars and pubs pride themselves on concocting the best homemade house mixes. Often, the creators are secretive about what goes into the mix. Infused vodka, roasted vegetables and spices you'd never think to put into a Bloody Mary have all been covered. Different types of mustard, Sriracha, teriyaki and liquid smoke will certainly get your taste buds going. It doesn’t stop there - beef stick straws, fried cheese curds, celery stalks, stuffed olives, cheese burgers, fresh garden peppers, soft pretzels and brat slices... bring on the toppings!
Here are a few of my favorite Bloody Marys:
The 4th Base in West Allis is a hidden gem and an experience like no other. As soon as you order a Bloody Mary, the kitchen gets to work making a heaping mound of sweet onion straws. The Bloody Mary starts with a Sacramento tomato juice base and the rest is completely from scratch, no pre-made mixes here! By the time the mix is done, the onion straws are too. Along with fresh vegetables, a handful of the straws go on top of the drink and on the plate surrounding the glass. The house mix is flavored to perfection with a spicy kick. To top it off, the drink is served with a 16-ounce draft beer chaser.
Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha is a Wisconsin staple. After filling up your shopping cart with local cheese and craft beer, saddle up to the bar for a delicious 12-ounce Bloody Mary. Created completely from scratch in front of you, this treat will not disappoint at only $5! The classic, well-crafted mix doesn't have anything to hide.
Husby’s in Sister Bay kicks up the spice factor with house infused jalapeno vodka. The smooth, homemade mix is full of pepper, horseradish, and celery salt, and topped off with a bit of Tabasco. The jalapeno soaked pickle is the best part of the garnish and the perfect topper along with a cheese cube and beef stick. Here’s the best part of Husby's though: the staff treats you like you’re home!
Cafe Bavaria in Wauwatosa offers five Bloody Marys but my favorite is the Düsseldorf. It has a spicy mustard kick and the garnishes are extremely fresh. Bavaria tops this Bloody with grilled sausage slices, bacon, cheese curds and bier wurst! The texture is thick and when you factor in all of the garnishes, this could be easily substituted as a light breakfast.
Regardless of where you go for a Bloody Mary, it's a wonderful time to hang out with friends, try new flavors and an excuse to adventure around our great state!
Wisconsin born and raised, Shannon lives in Milwaukee with her husband and dog. She is on a (hopefully) never-ending quest to find the best Bloody Mary around. Find more of her boozy adventures on her blog: BloodyMarysofMilwaukee.com.