THE ULTIMATE BLOODY MARY MIX
The morning after a roaring night out – you’re thirsty, hungry and the night before is one giant fog. But morning calls and you’ve got plans.
Whether it’s tailgating at a game, hitting the beach, or heading for brunch, for many who want to clear their head and keep the party going, there’s only one cure – a well made Bloody Mary.
Made properly, a great Bloody Mary should be a true meal in a glass, amply satisfying cravings of hunger and thirst, and providing a morning buzz all at once.
Today, we’re proud to review a unique product in the Bloody Mary world – a real gem of a mix that takes that spirit of experimentation, tastes great, and packs enough punch to help fight off the worst of hangovers – Parker’s Hangover Tonic.
As fans of the tomato juice and vodka based cocktail, we’re often disappointed to see nice resort bars that don’t have a house Bloody Mary mix, offering nothing but the standard brands of mixes behind the bar. They taste fine in a pinch, but offer little room for variation.
That’s a shame because from a pure bartending perspective, a Bloody Mary is one of the most versatile drinks in the world, presenting a true blank canvas for experimentation.
You’ll find endless instructions on how to make a Bloody Mary “the right way”, but it ultimately comes down to your own preferences on a number of options: heat (tabasco etc), spices (celery salt, celery seed, horseradish, etc), add-ons (olives, lemons, cucumber, etc).
From the basics: celery, olives, limes, lemons, horseradish – to the more substantial: bacon, shrimp, blue cheese, cucumber, you name it… chances are, it probably mixes well.
And this is where Parker’s Hangover Tonic comes into play.
Parker’s Hangover Tonic is NOT your standard Bloody Mary mix in a bottle. Based in Montana, Parker’s is actually a concentrated Bloody Mary add-on to a drink’s base – tomato juice for a standard Bloody Mary or Clamato for their recommended signature drink – a Caesar.
Note: Produced by Mott’s beverages, Clamato is a blend of tomato juice concentrate with a slight touch of clam broth and is commonly available throughout North America.
What’s a Caesar? A slight variation to a Bloody Mary , it simply uses Clamato instead of regular tomato juice as its base. The Caesar is more of a regional drink, found in Canada and the northern US.
Whichever drink you opt for, Parker’s is an easy addition:
To mix, take a US pint glass (16 ounces), add one shot vodka, one shot Parker’s, and fill with tomato juice or Clamato. Mix thoroughly and serve over ice. (For larger drinks, simply use equal parts vodka and Parker’s)
Among staff and friends, we tried Parker’s with both regular Bloody Marys and Caesars and were thoroughly impressed.
Parker’s Hangover Tonic Review
Our impressions? Parker’s is a very flavorful mix, encompassing the full essence of a Bloody Mary. It packs considerable heat, far more than the typical drops of Tabasco you’ll often get at a bar, and doesn’t shy away from horseradish. We prefer high heat Bloody Marys here at RLB, so this was all well to our liking.
We picked up a slight aftertaste of celery seed, which allows the mix to pair well with vegetable garnishes of celery, carrot, and even cucumber. If you like your Bloody Marys hot and heavily spiced, Parker’s is the mix for you.
RLB Mixing Tip: For an added touch, we suggest mixing with Square One Cucumber Vodka. It’ll bring out the wonderful tomato and celery flavors of the drink even more.
The Caesar was also well-liked among our group. As the drink is not prevalent on the east coast or in the UK, many samplers were first-timers. One point of note – surprisingly, even those who don’t care for clams or seafood in general really enjoyed the drink.
This is because the clam broth in Clamato is very mild, making the Caesar a somewhat smoother drink than a standard Bloody Mary but in truth, Parker’s packs such taste and punch that it can roll right over subtler notes, in this case clam broth. The broth is more of a gentle add-on to the tomato juice base of Clamato, and not overpowering in the least. Even those who don’t care for seafood will probably like it.
Once you get your hands on Parker’s, we strongly suggest trying a Caesar right out of the gate. You might have a new favorite!
The mix offers such great flavor that Parker’s recommends it as an add-on in various other foods and snacks, ranging from soups, nacho dips, and steak marinades. We tried it in salad dressings and found it to be excellent – adding a flavorful, fiery kick to any vinaigrette or ranch dressing. You can check out Parker’s innovative suggestions and recipes here.
Outside of select venues in Montana and the surrounding region, Parker’s is not readily available at bars, but can be shipped nationwide in the US and to Canada and purchased directly on the company’s website. Available sizes are 12 oz. or 24 oz. bottles.
Overall, we’re big fans of Parker’s Hangover Tonic and feel it presents an innovative entry in the Bloody Mary market. With exceptional taste and tremendous versatility, it offers great value and as it’s highly concentrated, lasts alot longer than you’d expect.
For your next morning gathering after a wild night out, when you’re absolutely craving a Bloody Mary, mix up a batch with Parker’s. You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your guests. Here’s to the next morning toast.
Note: Top photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.