Posts Tagged ‘most unusual’

810 Meadworks

I’ve been slacking. While we were at dinner a few weeks ago, J pointed out that I hadn’t blogged any drinks in a while. So that night I had a bloody mary but I got lazy posting about it. Now I’m 3 drinks behind, but that ends today! I’m going to start with the most recent one though, 810 Meadworks, and work backwards.

J had found a blog entry about local cocktails, and it featured 810 Meadworks as having WNY’s best bloody mary, which meant I had to try it. Somewhat unfortunately, we live about an hour away from 810, which is located in Medina, NY so it was a bit of a drive, but there is also a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Medina, so we made a night of it.

If you are not familiar with mead, it is an alcohol made from fermented honey, and it may have been history’s first fermented liquid! Since it’s made with honey, mead typically tends to be sweet, with even “dry” meads being sweeter than what you’d expect if you are used to dry wines.

My first, and previously only, mead experience was from a meadery on the west side of Seneca Lake, Earle Estates Meadery. While in the area with my parents, and aunt and uncle, we stopped in and did a tasting. I don’t remember my other family members being a fan, since they typically go for very dry wines, but I thought it was different and some were very tasty (in particular, their Cruisin’ Cranberry.)

810 Meadworks opened in 2014, with 8 different meads on tap. That number has grown to over 20, and we tried them all! Flights cost $5, for 3 – 2oz mead samples, which you can pair with some very creative handcrafted chocolates, or other small plates (there is no kitchen in the tasting bar so you’re looking at cheese and crackers, breads and spreads, to go along with your mead.) After your flight(s), if you’re still looking for more, they sell mead by the glass, and mead cocktails – which is where the bloody mary comes into play.

The Ghost of Mary

Presenting The Ghost of Mary! For $4, owner and brewmaster Bryan DeGraw, put together this little drink with his Royal Squeeze mead infused with ghost peppers, V8 bloody mary mix, and 2 spears of pickled asparagus for garnish. He asked if I wanted it very spicy, or just regular spicy, so of course I said “Very!”, which meant 2 oz of the ghost pepper mead. (Regular spicy would be made with just 1 oz, and mild would be made with a serrano and thai pepper infused mead instead.) The drink was different than your usual bloody mary, as the mead gives it a sweetness that vodka or other liquors do not. And the ghost peppers definitely made it spicy, probably too spicy for some people, but not for me! It was a simple drink, with a big taste, and I definitely recommend giving it a try if you are in the area.

As I said earlier, we tried all the meads currently on offer and I would say I enjoyed almost all of them. I didn’t try Fresh Territory, a pineapple cucumber mix, because cucumbers = evil, and strangely neither of us cared for their most popular mead – Sweet Devotion. But they had a special release Maple Tap, aged in a bourbon barrel, that was right up J’s alley and came home with us, along with a ghost pepper Royal Squeeze for me, and a bottle of Cheeky Keen for a gift. Check them out if you’re in the area, or as we did, make a special trip. (And if you want some great Mexican, give Mariacha De Oro a try!)

In related news, The Buffalo Bloody Mary Fest is returning in 2017, this time being held at Riverworks, which allows for a larger crowd. Tickets for the fest sold out in less than 4 days, again! Glad I got mine on the first day. Can’t wait!

St Louis Days 3 and 4

The last day and a half of my stay in St Louis had to bring us to the other Rooster location, as I had to have the Bloody Fairy. When I saw this listed on their website, there was no choice. If I had no other drink on this vacation, it had to be this one. I can’t say I was looking forward to it, or that I thought it was going to be delicious. But there was no way I could pass it up.

A Bloody Mary made with absinthe.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

I have a bit of history with absinthe. I am attracted to the history of the drink and the myth that surrounds it. I invested in a bottle while it was still illegal, and I struggled to find a way to successfully drink it, as it is rather difficult to choke down. The traditional way, with water and a sugar cube (do not light it on fire you noobs!), is still quite wretched. I’ve had an absinthe frappe in New Orleans. I had it in a layered shooter style drink with sambuca and baileys in Kiev, called a Hiroshima (I really ordered it for the name haha), and I’ve drank it straight. It’s just difficult to drink. I really couldn’t imagine what it could possibly taste like mixed with a tomato base. But I knew I couldn’t pass it up, because when would I ever see an absinthe Bloody Mary again?

So we made it to Rooster downtown right before it closed so I could order the Bloody Fairy. The bartender questioned my choice, asked if I liked licorice flavor and I assured her I knew what absinthe was. She said she was making sure because the Bloody Fairy was the most often sent back drink on the menu.


The small size was $5, with a salt and chili powder rim. This time I got the 2 olive and peperoncini garnish with a lemon stuck in there that was missing from the day before. This drink definitely wins the award for Most Unusual Bloody Mary in the world. There is such a strong taste of absinthe it drowns out almost all of the tomato taste from their 17 ingredient house mix. It was not at all spicy, as it seems their house mix is not spiced (they offer a Bloody ‘ell spicy Bloody that I didn’t have the opportunity to try), and I’m not sure adding spice to the flavor of absinthe would be a good idea. It was just so bizarre! So much herbal licorice flavor! Strangely it wasn’t bad though. I really didn’t think those flavors would mix well, but it turns out it might be the only tolerable way to drink absinthe. It definitely has been the best absinthe cocktail I’ve had.

The bartender was surprised I drank it all, she can’t even stand the smell of absinthe when she’s mixing them!

Later on that day we swang by Barrister’s, also on the Best Of list I found before I traveled. Also known for their Make Your Own bar during brunch, we had to settle for a bartender made drink since it was Wednesday.


Served in a pint glass with a salt and chili rim and 2 olives, a lemon and lime garnish, they use a house made mix which was very thick and chewy. There was visible pepper and not at all vinegary. The spice lingered quite a bit and clearly was not from a generic hot sauce like Frank’s. It tasted good, but was just so thick and chewy it was like drinking spicy pasta sauce. I couldn’t quite get past it, it was just far too thick for me. As the ice melted and it got less chewy it was more enjoyable. But I couldn’t order one from there again knowing how thick they are.

My last Bloody Mary in St Louis was nicely prepared for me by my aunt’s personal trainer Kelly. She mentioned my quest to him while working out, and he claimed he made the best one in St Louis and invited us over to give his a try.


(My aunt with Kelly….I mean Kelly’s dog)

Kelly starts with a large jug of Mr and Mrs T’s bold and spicy mix, removes a bit and adds in some of Mr and Mrs T’s horseradish mix, and mixes in some creamy horseradish and even more raw horseradish from a jar. He shakes that up, adds in bacon bits and svedka vodka and voila. Garnished with peperoncini and blue cheese stuffed olives (I passed on the olives), the Bloody had a good taste and spice level from the horseradish. It had a good liquidity and wasn’t chewy at all, and after the last one, that was a welcome change. He said he made them strong and he wasn’t lying, we needed lunch after that! Thanks Kelly!