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!