Bloody Mary Challenge


If there’s one thing to be learned from Sacramento magazine’s recent Bloody Mary Challenge, it’s that today’s version of the cocktail is like a whole meal, or at least an appetizer. An abundance of garnishes, including everyone’s favorite—bacon—can turn a drink with already well-rounded flavors into a complete culinary experience.

We invited bartenders from Cafeteria 15L, Firestone Public House, Fox & Goose Public House, Ink Eats & Drinks and Pour House to our offices so our staff could taste their offerings. It’s no small task to transport celery, tomato juice, alcohol and other ingredients to our site, and we’re sure glad they did. Here are our findings:


Cafeteria 15L

This drink garnered major points for presentation with its tall, lean glass topped with . . . onion rings. Which, by the way, aren’t on the restaurant’s menu, so you have to order the drink to get them. Called a Hot Southern Mary, the cocktail features whiskey instead of vodka. $9.50. 1116 15th St., Sacramento; (916) 492-1960,


Firestone Public House

Not too hot, not too mild, this version of the bloody mary has a “friendly, meaty” flavor. And bacon! $10. 1132 16th St., Sacramento; (916) 446-0888,



Fox & Goose Public House

Garnished with bacon, celery, a cocktail onion, olives and lemon slices, this bloody mary was the spiciest of the day’s offerings. Most like it hot! $8.75. 1001 R St., Sacramento; (916) 443-8825,


Ink Eats & Drinks

Who would have thought that Ink would be the restaurant that brought the most classic version of all the drinks presented? A highly satisfying cocktail for purists. $8. 2730 N St., Sacramento; (916) 456-2800,



Pour House

Served in a jar rimmed with sriracha salt, the libation tasted like a shrimp cocktail. That’s a very good thing. 1910 Q St., Sacramento; (916) 706-2465,