The old school Bloody Mary is simply passé. Miami bartenders are remixing the classic recipe and elevating brunch to a new level with innovative techniques to complement some of the best weekend-only menus in town.
Umami Mary with Truffle Dashi Vodka at Zuma
Included in brunch; regularly $16
Savory, one of the five basic tastes, is amplified in Zuma’s Umami Mary. The recipe is inspired by a Japanese chemist’s discovery of umami, or “deliciousness,” through his research on a soup base with bonito flakes and sea weed (think miso soup) called dashi. Beverage manager Theo Von Ungern-Sternberg developed a high-tech system for converting house made dashi into liquid form, yielding a more robust version of the traditional Bloody Mary. He chills and infuses the dashi into the vodka with a series of sonic pulses, which only takes a few minutes and maintains all flavors. To add the truffle, he uses stable emulsion (a fancy way of saying “to mix two flavors that wouldn’t necessarily mix without science”). Then, it’s time to add robatagrilled tomato juice, celery, wasabi, basil, yuzu and rice wine vinegar. To finish, he adds a touch of salt, pepper and sugar with a shichimi-spiced (multi-flavored chili pepper blend) cucumber slice.
Japanese-style brunch is every Saturday – Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; starting at $95 per person. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-577-0277
Rum Bloody Mary at SUGARCANE raw bar grill
The Rum Bloody Mary Rum presents the sweeter side of the classic brunch cocktail. Chef Timon Balloo and his team are particularly fond of the Caribbean and its rum — primarily for its potency. The drink, generally referred to as a “Cubanita,” is significantly stronger than a typical Bloody and includes an extra layer that’s missing from vodka, a more neutral spirit.
2 dashes tabasco
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. tomato juice
.5 oz. lime or lemon juice
1.5 oz. white rum
Pinch of celery salt and freshly ground pepper
Stir all ingredients with cracked ice in a mixing glass. Pour into a chilled highball glass.
Brunch is every Saturday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 3252 NE 1st Ave., Miami; 786-369-0353
Green Eggs and Ham at Tongue & Cheek
It won’t take too much convincing from Sam-I-Am to reach for the Green Eggs and Ham-style Bloody Mary at Tongue & Cheek. Featuring tequila, and commonly dubbed a “Bloody Maria,” this playful drink is essentially brunch in a glass. The wasabi powder intensifies the kale, while the avocado increases the thickness and balances the tartness of the tomatillos (aka Mexican green tomatoes). Still not sold? Think of the lesson from the beloved children’s book. Chef Jamie DeRosa may even perform a tableside reading to jog your memory.
2 oz. Herradura Tequila
4 oz. “Green Eggs and Ham” Mix
4 cups Tomatillos
2 handfuls of kale
16 dashes celery seed
3 oz. lime juice
1.5 oz. olive juice
2 large dashes of wasabi powder
(Makes 1 quart)
Add tequila to an empty pint glass with “Green Eggs and Ham” mix, olive juice and lime juice. Add ice and stir. Pour into a Collins glass. Garnish with a half of a pickled quall egg and country ham on a skewer.
Brunch is every Saturday – Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 431 Washington Ave. Miami Beach; 305- 704-2900
Red Snapper at PB Steak
Ashley Danella loves turning her guests on to the Red Snapper, a gin-based version of the usual suspect at brunch. The botanicals in gin (natural herbs, spices, peels, seeds or even rose petals) present a unique opportunity to get creative with different ingredients. Notice the schichimi in the recipe. It imparts a lot of depth and pairs well with Chef Jose Mendin’s Asian flavors (the taquitos are a must-try). Danella also adds aji panca for subtle smokiness, her trademark flavor.
1.75 oz. gin
.5 oz. aji panca
.5 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. Worcestershire sauce
4 grates black pepper
2 – 4 drops celery bitters
3 oz. tomato juice
Put all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and gently roll to incorporate. Pour contents into glass. Top with a pinch of shichimi, garnish with lemon wedge, fresh basil, and a Filthy Olive.
Brunch is every Sunday from noon – 4 p.m. 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-9550
Galena Mosovich is the lead writer for cocktail culture for Miami.com and The Miami Herald.