The Assassin is back again, and this time, I bring my special brand of alcohol-soaked chicanery back to the county of Kings. After a while of not brunching in Brooklyn, I felt a need to reconnect with the home of Biggie, Jay-Z and the Beasties (RIP MCA). So I made arrangements to brunch with a friend on 5th Avenue in Park Slope, home of yuppy families, bougie boutiques and a gym that used to be a bank. Brunching here gave us the opportunity to visit a place that I had intended to hit up since it first opened almost a year ago: Blueprint.
Blueprint is another entry into the field of cocktail lounges that are a bit on the fancier side in terms of cocktails and environment. This type of establishment can either be very good, thanks to great cocktails with fresh ingredients and a knowledgeable, friendly and unintimidating staff, or very bad, with rather ordinary cocktails that use off-the-shelf ingredients at fresh ingredient prices and a staff that feels as though fielding questions from the less knowledgeable is an insult. The Assassin has been to many of the first and, unfortunately, a number of the second. From the moment I walked in, however, I felt Blueprint was much more of the first type of establishment, which made me feel good about the possibility of experiencing a good bloody. It also put my friend at ease, as she was not the kind of person who often visits fancy cocktail joints.
A quick look at the menu revealed a brunch-time lineup of three bloodys: a Classic with horseradish infused vodka, a Swedish Bloody with their own house made aquavit and a Spicy Bloody Mary with chipotle tequila. I was very tempted to try out the Swedish but decided for the purpose of providing a review closer to the baseline for the readers of this most amazing of blogs, I would order the Classic. In a few short minutes, I was given what I must say was a beautifully presented bloody, perhaps the prettiest bloody I have ever personally seen. But was this a cover for a substandard potent potable? I went in for a taste to find out.
Upon that first sip, I was reassured that the quality of the drink was above average. I immediately picked up the horseradish infusion, which added a good kick to the drink. What I noticed about this kick was that it actually stuck around and was still as potent on the second and third sips as it was on the first. While I very much liked this aspect of the drink, I felt that this lingering was something that might turn others off (such as The Drunken Tomato herself). I had to conclude that perhaps the horseradish was left to infuse just a bit too long.
The taste of the alcohol was there as well, but it was a light taste. I was concerned about whether this was because they used a very good vodka as its base or because the horseradish hid the heavier alcohol taste of a more substandard base. Then I caught the bartender using an above average vodka as his well vodka, and felt very reassured.
The kick provided by the infusion was well balanced by a fresh tasting tomato juice. It may very well be that the juice came from a can, but whatever they did to it made me want to look around the bar to see if anyone was currently pressing the juice out of farm fresh tomatoes.
Overall, this was one of the better bloodys I’ve had in my brief career here with the Tomato. It’s hard to ask for more in a bloody than fresh tasting juice, a good vodka base, and a good (if slightly over-infused) horseradish taste. I give the Classic Bloody at Blueprint 4 Celery Stalks.
196 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. T: 718-622-6644.