If you want to add a kick to that cartoon of tomato juice hanging around the refrigerator, a Bloody Mary is the way to go. Making one at home is easy enough - simply shake vodka, vegetable juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper vigorously in a cocktail mixer, strain the contents into a salt-rimmed, ice-filled glass, stick a stalk of celery on top, and voila. But naturally, getting someone else to make one for you is much easier, much more fun, and, if you live in the Lone Star State, as easy as working your way through our round-up of the 10 best places to get a Bloody Mary in Texas and picking your nearest spot.
10. Griff's, Houston
If you're particular about the way you like your Bloody Mary to be served, Griff's in Houston is the spot for you. Every weekend, this Irish bar in Montrose hosts its infamous "Sunday Bloody Sunday," an all-day event at which customers get to mix their own creation whichever which way they like it at the dress-your-own-mary bar. All the ingredients are laid out, letting you choose just how salty or spicy you like it.
9. Blue Sushi Sake Grill, Fort Worth
As you'd expect from an upscale sushi joint, Fort Worth's Blue Sushi Sake Grill's take on the Bloody Mary elevates this humble cocktail to all new heights of glory. Serving it in a martini glass might make purists do a double-take, but one taste of this little masterpiece will be enough to convince even hardcore traditionalists of the value of onion-pepper-infused vodka, ponzu sauce, and yes, a martini glass.
8. Better Luck Tomorrow, Houston
In contrast to a lot of bars that like to pack their Bloody Mary's with more food than their menus, Better Luck Tomorrow takes a simpler approach. Their classic Bloody Mary is exactly that - a classic. Expect top-notch ingredients, a divine (but very secret) spice mix, and nothing more than a simple celery stalk as a garnish. A simple, saintly tipple with enough of a kick to keep things interesting, it's heaven in a glass.
7. Star Bar, Austin
Star Bar's take on the Bloody Mary (or "Hail Mary," as they prefer to call it) requires both an open mind and a very big appetite. Forget about the usual garnishes of olives and celery - here, they treat the drink as a vehicle for a full-blown meal, serving it with an unholy amount of garnishes that includes a chicken sandwich, mini donuts (chocolate and powdered, naturally), olives, cherry tomatoes, white and yellow cheese cubes, hot chili peppers, cornichons, and cocktail smoked sausages. Each 'drink' cost $28 and is available as a Sunday special only. If you come with an appetite, trust in the fact you won't be leaving with one.
6. Armoury D.E., Dallas
If you're looking for something a little different from the norm, take the advice of The Dallas Observer and hit up Armoury D.E. in Dallas, which serves a very unusual but very delectable take on the classic Bloody Mary that incorporates gin and charred octopus tentacle. if that wasn't enough to tempt you, it also comes with a Miller High Life Pony served on the side.
5. Anvil Pub, Dallas
Named one of the best places in Texas to get a Bloody Mary by Only In Your State, the Anvil Pub delivers a Bloody Mary that's got zero to do with tradition, but that's going to do your tastebuds a world of good anyway. Expect a spicy, fiery Bloody Mary topped with what can only be described as breakfast, lunch, and dinner - grilled shrimp, cheese, hot dogs, pickled asparagus & okra, bacon cheeseburger sliders, onion rings... it's all in there, and it's all lip-smackingly good.
4. 1886 Humble Backyard, Humble
There's nothing humble about 1886 Humble Backyard's Bloody Mary. Served in a two-pint mason jar and garnished with what looks like the entire contents of someone's kitchen (bacon skewers, cheese cubes, sausages, sliders, boiled eggs, and more besides), it pushes the definition of a 'drink' to breaking point. But there's something to be said for playing fast and loose with tradition, and judging by the rave reviews of their many happy customers, the approach is clearly paying off. Pop by on Saturdays or Sundays to try one for yourself.
3. Hoover's Cooking, Austin
If you want to try one of Hoover's Cooking's Bloody Mary's, be sure to call ahead first, as they're served on a seasonal basis only. You might also want to make sure you wear your loosest sweat pants when you visit. Rather than serve this humble classic as it's best known, the owners have decided to turn it into a vessel for their signature brand of southern-inspired comfort food. The classic fresh tomato juice, vodka, and crisp celery are all there as you'd expect, but they've also slapped on a bunch of smoked meats like bacon, brisket, and pork. Who knew a hair of the dog could be quite so filling?
2. Cover 3, San Antonio
If you live in San Antonio and have a hankering for a Bloody Mary with a kick like a mule, head for Cover 3. If you don't live in San Antonio, go there anyway- with a spicy Bloody Mary that's been voted one of the best around by foursquare.com, amazing Buffalo chicken wings, a weekend brunch that leaves nothing to be desired, and a hugely welcoming atmosphere, it's worth the cost of an Uber.
1. Chef Point Cafe, Watauga
As bloodymaryobsessed.com points out, everything is bigger in Texas, and at the gas station-turned- fine dining establishment Chef Point Cafe in Watauga, that translates to the biggest, beefiest Bloody Mary you'll ever lay eyes on. Known as The "Bloody Best" Bloody Mary, it's more a meal than a drink, with a spicy, garlicky base providing the foundation for lemons, limes, olives, cheeses, bacon, pickles, celery, an entire green onion and okra, seasoned shrimp, several waffle fries, an entire grilled jalapeño, a Nolan Ryan Slider and Chef Points signature, "Better than Sex Fried Chicken." It may make purists shudder at the thought, but once you've tried it, there's no going back to a regular Bloody Mary again.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn