Bloody Good

Where’s the best Bloody Mary in Vegas? With hundreds of places to choose from, that’s a tough question to answer. Price, bar ambience and individual tastes all come into play—anyone for a bacon Bloody at the Double Down? I’ve certainly had some good ones at big price points in Las Vegas’ finer restaurants, but for me it always comes back to the deal.

Two of the best come from Venetian/Palazzo. First Food serves a super-horseradishy concoction at the bar six days a week—and from a mobile cart on Sundays—that’s “garnished” (it’s more like a side dish!) with a celery stalk, a vegetable skewer and a Slim Jim. The garnish is worth a couple bucks by itself, so this $10 Bloody Mary is really more like $8.

Directly down the escalator, Public House serves an even spicier version called Cerdo Picante (“Bloody Pig”). It’s another that comes with a price-reducing garnish—a colossal shrimp that you’d pay $2-$3 for at a seafood bar—so $10 is more like $7.50 for this one when the shrimp is factored in.

A giant shrimp also comes with the Classic at the Barrymore. It’s $12, but there’s an everyday all-you-can-drink deal for $24. With this deal, drinking two puts you at break-even, then the price-per-drink drops to $8 if you have three, $6 if you have four, and so on. Drinking four will allow you to sample all of the Barrymore options: the Hot Footer (jalpeño and cilantro), the Hill “Billy” (beef brisket and barbecue sauce), the Far East (ginger, ponzu, and wasabi) and that Classic with the shrimp. If Caitlin’s mixin’ behind the bar, you’re assured of getting a good one.

Bar + Bistro in the Arts District uses a clam-based mix with real pieces of chopped clam inside. It’s $9, but you can get it for $6 if you’re eating the weekend Hangover Brunch.

I like all of the above, but I like Hennessey’s downtown even more, where the Bloody Marys are served in a pint glass with lemon, lime, a celery stalk and salt on the rim for the bargain price of $6.25. Better yet, these awesome Marys are just $4 on Saturdays and Sundays till 1 p.m. (look for “Big Mike” behind the bar).

Finally, I’ve yet to find a better Bloody Mary deal than the Sunday special at Irene’s (5480 Spring Mountain Road.), where from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday they’re just a buck apiece. This might not be such a big deal if they mailed them in with a bottled mix, but they don’t. The bartenders combine tomato juice and spooned-in horseradish (if you request it) with the other fixins, then shake them all together and garnish with two or three olives. All it takes is a fiver to get you where you want to be.