Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I’ve been proselytizing about the bloody marys at Clem’s – which I believe to be the best overall in the area -- for a couple of years now. Sadly for Clem's, Peter and Dena were not fully in agreement.

The first thing we all could agree was a major plus is Clem’s method of mixing the other ingredients (the “mud” as they call it there) separately from the tomato juice and then using equal parts mud and juice when mixing. This is owner Clem himself's method and is used to ensure the consistent robustness of the drink. Our bloody marys all had plenty of horseradish, worcestershire, and spice. Big points as well for the size (served in a pint glass) and alcohol content (quite high) relative to the price (relatively low at $7.) in the past, I’ve even asked for mine with LESS alcohol – so that I can have two without falling off the barstool -- and was charged $1 less without my asking for it. Major points awarded for this as well.

It all came down to two factors, the first being the garnishing issue. For me, the lemon wedge, several large olives, pepperoncini and dill pickle spear were exactly right, but Dena and Peter took exception to the absence of celery.

But this is a minor objection. It’s really the second factor that was the deciding factor: Clem’s bloody mary, while solid, classic and well-made, lacks panache and doesn’t have that extra something (fresh tomato juice, a creative garnish or spice, etc) that would elevate it above the common masses. We eventually settled on a 3 ½ tomato rating.


Clem’s * 264 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 * 718. 387. 9617

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