As The Celery Stalker and The Drunken Tomato continued their quest for the ultimate bloody mary, they came upon a beacon of vodka infused light as they entered Genies Cafe in Portland, Oregon. What follows is a recount of their first impressions as they quenched their thirst for the ultimate savory cocktail.
The Celery Stalker:
I remember my first time, how skeptical I was, how unusual I found the whole concept, the anticipation I felt just before. Yes, my first time drinking vodka infused with savory ingredients was quite memorable. I was relatively new to the world of non-Kool-Aid (Purplesaurus Rex was my favorite). Most of my alcoholic drinks to this point had been included in some sort of sugary mixer (Soda, Kahlua, or fruit juices). But luckily for me, a knowledgeable friend introduced me to something new at a certain Russian vodka bar in NYC. I experienced numerous vodka infusions that were all wonderful, but the horseradish infused vodka is what I left thinking about. This experience opened my eyes to a whole new world of cocktails. The new world? Cocktails that could be enjoyed with savory ingredients, the most important of these being the bloody mary.
So I was happy to find out that Genies Café in Portland, Oregon serves up some of the finest vodka infused bloody marys that a boy could ask for. It’s tough to choose just one, but I settled on the cucumber dill infused vodka served with Genies Mary Mix. I have been on quite the dill kick lately, so this was a home run for me. The cleanness of the cucumber balanced nicely with the dill, a combination reminiscent of homemade pickles. This natural combination also fit well with Genies Mary Mix, which was very good, refreshing like a tomato should be and full of flavor. On a bloody mary scale of admiration, I must say that I loved this bloody mary and can’t wait to try even more of their vodka infusions. 4.5 Celery Stalks.
The Drunken Tomato:
All I have to say is, “fucking delicious.” Balanced but spicy, fresh and topped with all the right garnishes*, this bloody mary blew my mind. Don’t even think twice, don’t even finish reading this review, stop everything right now because you need this bloody in your life. The only question you need to answer is which of the thirteen house infused vodkas you’d like with your bloody mary. I managed to get my hands on three (yes, I really just couldn’t stop): the garlic was fantastically garlicky, the cucumber dill added a refreshing coolness and the rosemary, well, just really tasted like rosemary. My only note to you is that these infusions are strong. Get a flavor you like and enjoy one of the best bloody marys of your life. 4.5 Celery Stalks.
*All the right garnishes: celery, lime, lemon, pepperoncini, cherry pepper, olive.
1101 SE Division, Portland, OR 97202. P: (503) 445-9777.