The Horse & Plow. The Garden of Eatin’.


Hello my tomato loving friends!  Today, I bring you a Midwestern treat.  Yes, it’s true.  This Spice Girl hails from a fantastic place called Wisconsin.  Upon a recent visit to America’s dairy land to see the parents, I had – for the first time ever – a rather famous (well, by Wisconsin standards) bloody mary.  The Horse and Plow is a gastropub in Kohler, WI attached to the state’s only five star resort called The American Club.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Kohler empire, take a look at your toilets and sinks and you may see the name emblazoned on some of them.  Fun fact: Herb Kohler is good friends with Kevin Costner and makes a cameo appearance in his movie Open Range.  He (aptly) plays the bartender.  Clearly, the man loves his booze as well as his fancy plumbing. I remember coming here on certain special occasions when I was younger and ordering the famous beer cheese soup while my dad ordered their bloody mary called “The Garden of Eatin’”.  It should be clear from the photo why it bears this name.  Let us take inventory of the glorious garnishes perched atop this monstrous cocktail:

  • Pickle
  • Olive
  • Pickled mushroom
  • Pickled brussel sprout
  • Pickled onion
  • Pepperoncini
  • Another Olive
  • Celery stalk
  • Lemon

Whew!  It’s like a meal in itself!  If this drink were to be evaluated on garnish alone, I would have to go with five stalks.  Alas, we all know there is more to a good bloody mary than just the garnish.  First, let’s talk spice.  It had a nice spice that hit you more at the back of your throat rather than lingered on your lips.  It wasn’t overwhelmed with horseradish, so I’m willing to bet it was the Tabasco tickling my throat.  Next I noticed that this was a very sweet bloody mary that could have benefited from more salt.  My mom said she thought it tasted metallic.  When we asked the bartender what is in their recipe, he confirmed that they use Sacramento tomato juice, which, for those of you who don’t know, comes in a can.  I’m quite certain that was the culprit.  The main pitfall of this drink was the ice.  At first, I was delighted to be presented with a huge hurricane glass, but it proved to be a less than stellar receptacle.  One would think it would allow more room for bloody mary goodness, but unfortunately, The Horse and Plow filled the space with far too much ice.  It melted like crazy and resulted in an extremely watered down drink.  On a more positive note, this bloody mary came with a chaser.  A bloody mary, when served in Wisconsin, will always be accompanied by a chaser.  I’ve only been served one chaser in my New York adventures and that was at Prune.  A chaser really is great with a bloody mary.  It acts as a palette cleanser to the richness of the bloody and gears you up to have another, even if you had been feeling one was enough.  And let’s be real, dear readers, one is never enough.

3 Celery Stalks

The Horse & Plow 419 Highland Drive,  Kohler, Wisconsin 53044.  T: (920) 457-8000.

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