Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Ten Best Bloody Marys

This stunning row of Bloody Marys is made from the best house mix in Houston.
This stunning row of Bloody Marys is made from the best house mix in Houston.
Photo courtesy Beaver's

Our 2013 Best of Houston® winners were announced a while back, but in many cases, picking the best item in any category was no easy task. In order to show off all the culinary greatness Houston has to offer, we're continuing to round up the "rest of the best" in some of our favorite categories. Bon appétit!

People keep telling me that Bloody Marys are a morning drink--early afternoon at the latest. And it's not just my friends who give me crap for ordering the tomato and vodka cocktail at any time, day or night. It's the bartenders, too. Try asking for a spicy Bloody Mary at 11 p.m. and see how the server reacts.

It's cool, though. I don't mind the looks and odd reactions so long as I have a little something spicy and boozy to drink. And while working on this list and tasting Bloody Marys all over town, I had an excellent excuse to order my favorite drink.

If you do searches for the origin of the Bloody Mary online, you're likely to find a number of different stories, some claiming it was invented in Paris by a guy named Fernand Petiot, others that a chick named Mary at a bar called Bucket of Blood created the cocktail. Whatever the origin, the drink appears to have evolved since the early 1900s into something spicier and more complex than the initial mix.

These days, bars and restaurants attempt to top each other by making the spiciest mix or topping the drink with the most outrageous garnish. Here are the best of these "hair of the dog" cocktails in Houston.

Best New Kid Cook & Collins 2416 Brazos Cook & Collins, which opened in January, is named partially for the Tom Collins, a popular gin cocktail, but it's the Bloody Mary that has brunch fans raving. It's only on the brunch menu, and for $10, you get Tito's vodka mixed with Zing Zang and as many extra spices and hot sauces as you need to get your drink to the right heat level. Most impressive, though, is the garnish: A slice of thick and crispy bacon, a poached shrimp, a pickled green tomato, a single bleu cheese stuffed olive and celery are all skewered and shoved into the top of the glass. Thank goodness there's a straw.

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