You may have enjoyed a bloody mary during a casual Sunday brunch. It is, after all, one of the quintessential brunch cocktails served at many restaurants. The basic recipe is simple: mix tomato juice with some vodka, lime, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and other spices, and garnish with olives and a stalk of celery. However, at SMAK, a restaurant/bar in Telluride, Colorado, they’ve stepped up brunch strong by garnishing their bloody marys with actual burgers. (It’s pretty much the greatest bloody mary I’ve ever had.)
The brainchild of Chef Patrick Laguens of the affiliated Hotel Madeline, the SMAK Bloody Mary doesn’t just use any old burgers for the sake of the novelty. Colorado is known for beef and lamb, and Laguens celebrates this with one local beef slider and one local lamb slider, skewered together, and placed atop the cocktail.
The cocktail is a flavorful concoction on its own, with tomato juice and vodka garnished with three stuffed olives (jalapeño, blue cheese, and pimento), pickled okra, pickled green beans, pickled asparagus, pearl onions, lemons, limes, pepperoncinis, celery salt, black pepper, two strips of bacon, and of course, a stalk of celery. As much as the cocktail sounds like it might be vegetarian — minus the bacon and burgers, that is — think again.
“We start it with beef stock!” Laguens told me. “Vegetarians need not apply.”