Ever go somewhere and order a bloody mary only to find it extremely disappointing? Think airplanes, or a crummy bar who thinks a bloody is just plain tomato juice and vodka? Did your mother-in-law plop down some tomato juice for you, and you need to secretly spice it up from your pocket flask to get through Christmas? Or do you have an empty fridge, save for tomato juice and vodka, and really want a good bloody mary? Well have no fear, there are now several companies popping up to correct this problem!
While these two companies might be competing for the market, I will not be pitting them against each other in a battle royale in this post. I’m just going to review them as normal. That said, I received both these samples for free, but in no way does that influence my opinion. Instructions are simple, just pour your juice and vodka in a glass, add the spice mixture and stir.
I’m going to start with Chet’s – The Original Bloody Mary Anytime Bloody Mary Seasoning Mix, since I received that one first….back in September…and I’m just trying it now because, well, I suck.
But this mix doesn’t suck! Packaged in a wallet sized packet, Chet’s includes celery salt, Worcestershire Sauce, distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, paprika, sumac salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, horseradish powder and parsley flakes. There is a lot of spice packed in that little portable package, and you can see the red pepper flakes. There is no suggested drink size on the package, but I was using those little cans of tomato juice, that are 5.5 oz and it was way too much mix for that little can. I added a 2nd can, which maybe made it a little too weak, so go with 8oz. The main flavors come from the cayenne pepper and hot pepper flakes, with a tad of celery salt, but it was not overwhelmingly spicy to me. It has a good amount of spice for those who want some heat, but aren’t like me, who could actually use more. Overall the flavor is good, and it makes for a definite improvement to those crummy bloodies you’re trying to avoid. You can buy Chet’s on his website, available in small portable packets, and in a bulk tin for your home bar set up.
Next up, Devil Dave’s Bloody Mary Sticks. Packaged in a long narrow “stick”, Devil Dave’s includes real shaved horseradish, Worcestershire, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, lime, and spices. It is certified vegan and gluten free, if you’re into that stuff. Instructions suggest mixing the packet with 10oz of juice, and add vodka plus whatever garnishes you want. The mix is left more neutral in the heat department so it will appeal to everyone, and you can always add in more of your own preferred hot sauce. I thought I tasted celery salt, but it’s not listed in the ingredients (Owner Ryan commented below that the samples are prototypes and when it goes into full production the complete ingredient list will be on the package, and that it does include celery salt). It’s got a really great balance of flavors, with no one taste overpowering the others, and like Chet’s, it’ll improve any bloody mary you get served.
Devil Dave’s is not yet available for purchase, as he is launching a Kickstarter on January 1st – National Bloody Mary Day! Eventually you will be able to get the mix in the portable sticks, or as a speed mix for your home bar. You can currently fill out a form for a free sample, but he got so overwhelmed with requests, he ran out of samples and the next batch won’t ship until April. Don’t let that stop you though! There are contests running on Devil Dave’s facebook page and head over to the site to watch for the Kickstarter. It’s worth it!