Thursday, March 31, 2011

No. 191: A "Square Meal" Bloody Mary @ The Californian (Huntington Beach)

Bloody Mary may be a quintessential daytime cocktail but it's pretty rare for me to order this hair of the dog to go with my brunch. Unlike the simpler-to-make mimosas and bellinis, there are so many components and variations to this drink, which means so much can go wrong. And I've had my share of bloodies that are too alcoholic / tart / salty / spicy / astringent or some combination thereof.

Hyatt Resort @ Huntington Beach
But can I build a better one myself? That's exactly what I'm about to find out @ The Californian at Hyatt Regency Resort at Huntington Beach, where I was invited to partake in a Bloody Mary mixoff against blogger Marian the Foodie & Teri from Great Taste Magazine, using the vast spread of components from their DIY Bloody Mary spread and with the hotel's management & the Californian's chef judging. Yikes!

Despite my wariness about ordering Bloody Marys, I'm rather inspired by drink's many variations, and the many ways you can switch up the recipe. One version I'm particularly enamored with is Alberta Straub of Cocktails on the Fly, whose bloody mary involves her own custom veggie juice-based mix, pepper-infused vodka and even spiced rimming salt to make a complete 'liquid meal'
Square Meal Bloody Mary
Taking a page from that concept, I decided to create a 'Square Meal' Bloody Mary covering all the food categories, using approximately

2 ounces of vodka
8 ounces of their house spicy bloody mary mix
salt (half-rimmed)
juice of half a lemon, plus an extra wedge
a stalk of celery
4 fresh basil leaves
2-3 blue cheese-stuffed olives
4-5 dashes of Tabasco Habanero sauce
1/2 teaspoon of fresh horseradish
and, to cover the meat category, a slice of bacon!
Bloody Marys
And while it didn't take home the prize tonight (Marian got that honor with her "Asian Spice Bloody Mary",) I was pretty pleased with my creation, which has a nice kick balanced with citrusy & vegetal notes and a slight tinge of smokiness, and it's nice to nibble on the skewer of bacon or cheesy olive as I sipped along.

But the best part is that when you brunch here @ The Californian, you can get endless DIY Bloody Marys (or Champagne... or Mimosas) with your buffet for $38/person and for the designated driver in your group, the delectable buffet itself is $23. And considering the dozens of ingredients you can throw in there, plus over 20 hot sauces for you to experiment with, you'll be mighty thankful to have that DD along...
View from Hyatt Resort
... not to mention a fantastic view of Huntington Beach to mellow the rest of your day away (incidentally, Hyatt is the only hotel in Huntington Beach with a pedestrian bridge going over & across the PCH, so you can easily get to the beach for a lovely stroll, skate, bike ride, dip or surf!)

The Californian @ The Hyatt Regency
21500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA
(714) 845-4776


Banana Wonder said...

Basil in bloody mary's, oh heck yes! I always wondered about the Californian as it's not too far from my 'rents place. I will have to swing by when I'm back in the OC in June... ahem...urban hike/ grilled cheese part II/some-other-totally-awesome-food-event

H. C. said...

Ohhh definitely -- I've been meaning to do a PCH Urban Hikes of sorts!


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