Broken Land, Bloody Grand
I've got a theory that drinks mimic their maker. I've nearly lost teeth from the punch of drinks mixed by loud, aggressive bartenders. In the same vein, I've ordered from careless folk and wound up with garnish like something plucked from a Kansas field circa 1932. Some of my more 4:20 minded friends have tossed me vodka waters without the vodka or the water, and once, a multi-tasking mother at her bartending side job mixed me a drink with more layers of flavor than there are pillars of the earth.
When it comes to Broken Land's bloody mary, my theory proved true once again.
Broken Land is a humble bar nestled in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It quietly crouches next to a coffee joint on Franklin Street, shadowed like some laconic jazz cat on a perennial smoke break. With minimal signage and vintage decor, Broken Land was opened by three Brooklynites who strive to provide an experience both modest and fulfilling.
On theme, the bloody mary experience is just that.
Thick and full-bodied, this cocktail is nothing short of love in a glass. I could tell by the way Ryan Wood, part owner and bar manager, stirred it with tried and true precision before sliding it to me from across the bar. It's expertly mixed with a tasty zing of lemon that lingers on the tongue just long enough after the swallow. But the most surprising part? No garnish. Just a light sprinkling of Old Bay.
"Well, the stout floater is the garnish," Wood said.
This really resonates with me. In a world where bloody marys are bar staples, I've found many restaurants or bars try to visually trick customers into believing they're drinking something quality. But it's clear the Broken-Landers are confident enough in their semi-spicy recipe to let it stand alone.
Not gonna lie, I practically inhaled the thing. I gushed over how it became richer with every sip. The curse of many bloodys is that they're quickly watered down, causing flavors to separate. But this mix? Wood went on to emphasize that his homemade nectar is always vigorously blended. When I asked for the reason, he shrugged. "It makes for more consistent chuggability... or whatever."
I would have downed the whole thing in one go, but it was fortunately paired with a snit in true Midwest style. If the bloody itself wasn't laudable enough, this little Pilsner pal sealed the deal. After all, any spectacular food or drink deserves a palate cleanser so that "first taste" can be experienced more than once. And I did experience it more than once; the proof was in the second round.
So, yes - Broken Land is off the G train. But don't let that slow you down! A spectacular surprise, I'd recommend running to try this bloody - and Broken Land - any time of day. And, Broken Land? Congrats! In the already uber-hot Greenpoint neighborhood, you've somehow found a way to make life a little saucier.
4.5 Celery Stalks
Photo credit: Jackie Roman Photography, @jackieroman
Broken Land 105 Franklin St, Brooklyn, New York 11222 T: (718) 349-2901