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Sarabeth’s Stealthy Spice Surprise

3 Celery Stalks, New York
Sarabeth's New York Bloody Mary_

I broke my one rule. “Don’t ever drink tequila…like ever.” And I was paying a dear price for my folly. Luckily for you, that meant only one thing:

The Hangover Avenger was back, scouring the streets of NYC in search of the perfect sidekick to defeat Evil Hangover.

Would Sarabeth’s bloody mary rise to the challenge?

There was only one (delicious) way to find out.

***

Sarabeth’s gets major points for presentation. One glance at it begs so many questions, like, “Wait, is that really one serving?” (it is, and I needed two hands to hold it), “What is that Rastafarian vibe going on up top?” (it’s pickled jicama, for your information), and, “There’s gotta be some killer flavors bouncing around in that mix, right??” (Right?!)

Well, unfortunately, that’s where this bloody mary stumbles a bit.

There’s no question this bloody was smooth. So smooth, actually, that it might have been too smooth. There was no meat on its bones, only slight hints of lemon piggybacking on a thin tomato body. It had no bold shots of horseradish, no tingling pops of pepper, no infusions of mystery flavors. And anything I did taste sprinted so fast across my tongue that I’d forgotten about it by the time my glass hit the table.

Disappointing, to say the least.

But taste isn’t the only measure of a sidekick’s worth, at least in the eyes of The Hangover Avenger. Any bloody that can pack a hero’s worth of spice into one sip deserves serious consideration.

And dear lord, this bloody rocked it.

Just when I couldn’t get over the lack of flavor — BOOM! — a full-blown explosion of heat whacked me on the finish. My mouth was set ablaze, as if some old school gangster with a tommy gun of hot sauce was unleashing spice bullets up and down my throat. Considering I use sriracha like salad dressing, I’m rarely surprised by spice, but this bloody nearly knocked me out of my chair. Major sidekick points in the spice department, for sure.

And now, about that garnish…

There were no olives, no celery stalks, nothing else but those colorful strands of pickled jicama, a root vegetable I absolutely Google’d when I got home. But I didn’t need a search engine to know it was a dynamite addition. Its sweet and sour notes were a perfect compliment, stretching out the less than impressive flavors on the front end, while also giving this wounded superhero something to think about besides his throbbing headache.

Plus, having a garnish that gives your drink dreadlocks? Win.

***

So was this bloody a worthy sidekick?

It had its strong moments, especially the powerful backend spice. But the lack of flavor chords and a non-existent balance were too pronounced to ignore. After all, we’re talking about a tequila hangover here.

For those reasons, The Hangover Avenger must continue on, searching for more complete sidekicks than this one.

Celery Stalks

Sarabeth’s
381 Park Ave South, New York, NY 10016. 
T: (212) 335-0093

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About the author: He was once an ordinary guy, slugging sports drinks, coffee, and aspirin in futile attempts to defeat ravishing hangovers. But everything changed one Sunday morning when an unknown icy beverage was pressed into his trembling hands. With his head slumped on the bar and splitting migraines cracking like lightning behind his eyes, he grasped the beverage blindly and drank, when… A SPICY TOMATO ELIXIR rushed down into his stomach!! In a split second, his weak and lethargic body was instantly mutated into a STRONG and RESILIENT specimen, capable of even the MOST FEROCIOUS Sunday Brunch festivities! On that morning, The Hangover Avenger was born. Gifted with super human abilities to withstand abnormal levels of spice and possessing ultra-sensitive radar for detecting “second winds,” he scours the streets of New York City in search of the perfect bloody mary sidekick to defeat Evil Hangover forever.

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