When all of the elements are in place, there are few drinks more reviving— some may argue healthy—than a well-made Bloody Mary. Deb Glanville, owner of the Congress Bar and Grill and one of Portland’s most well-known faces behind the bar, will be happy to make you one of the best in the city.
“It never fails,” she says. “Everyday someone orders one, everyone else sees it, and then I end up making six more.”
Though she is aware that the drink is highly customizable, there is an approach that she feels is perfect, starting with making each drink to order. “I find that premixing can thicken the texture of the drink in a negative way,” Glanville tells me, a well-taken point given that a Bloody Mary is meant to be a beverage, not a soup. She begins simply with tomato juice and vodka, Stolichnaya being the preference based on her assertion that “All vodka should be Russian,” then mixes in celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and prepared horseradish (freshly grated horseradish can tend to be a touch stringy for this concoction). Glanville insists that the best Bloody Marys are stirred, not shaken, served very cold, and garnished with olive and pepperoncini.
When I inquire as to why she chose the Bloody Mary as her favorite drink, her response is very simple: “I like to make people feel better.”
I think I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow.