When it came to Bloody Mary bars, the former East Coast Grill took the garnish crown with a brunch bonanza of condiments for your morning cocktail. Luckily, chef Jason Heard has transferred his Bloody Mary learnings to his new post at Coppersmith. The 2015 addition to the Southie dining scene now sports their own DIY drink station for doctoring up a hangover cure, any way you want it. Beyond your requisite stalk of celery, the bonus Bloody items on the Saturday and Sunday brunch menus include house-pickled veggies and garnishes galore, plus upgrades of bacon or shrimp (or both!) Below, Heard talks the allure of the Build Your Own Bloody and the one topping he’d personally keep on the plate.
The DIY Bloody Mary Bar is a recent addition to Coppersmith, right?
It started the week after St. Patrick’s Day. When I saw the space and I saw what the existing brunch was doing, I thought we could expand on it and the idea of the Bloody Mary Bar was always very successful anywhere that I’ve ever seen one set up. So we figured why not give it a shot here and now it’s exploded—it’s very popular.
I think with the amount of choices and preferences—some people want some kind of vodka, some people want clamato juice, some people want just tomato juice—it alleviates the pressure on the bar, really. They just have to put the vodka and the ice together. Then at that point you can custom-make your Bloody Mary the exact way you want it. If you want it to be vodka, tomato juice and a piece of celery, you can go that route. Or if you really want to beef it up and have it be ultra-spicy, super-laden with horseradish, garnishes falling out of the top of it, you can also go that route.
What’s your preference?
If I drink Bloody Marys, I would probably go the straight beer route. Beer, tomato juice, maybe some olives.
How do you decide on garnishes?
It’s the availability from the market—if there’s a lot of really nice carrots, pearl onions, leeks. There’s also a lot of sauces with new menu items and condiments that could be easily transferred into a Bloody Mary. So it’s really just what we have around and what the markets have available that we can play around with, make it look cool, make it taste good, make sure it’s colorful. Just make it bigger and better than any of the other Bloody Mary bars that might be around.
Any place you draw the line? Anything you absolutely would not want in a Bloody Mary?
I personally don’t get putting bacon in drinks. That doesn’t make much sense to me. That would probably be it.
Why do you think the DIY Bar is so popular?
I think that the interaction between the food, the drink and the guest is what makes this so appealing to most people. If you order a drink when you’re sitting at the bar, you get what the bartender makes you. With the Bloody Mary Bar, you’re the bartender as well as the guest and you can talk about what you’re making, you can ask questions, try new things without being disappointed. Because if you didn’t like that one, you can order another one and just not put those condiments in it next time.
For a peek at just a sampling of Coppersmith’s offerings and to see how it stacks up, take a look at this collection of Build Your Own Bloody Marys and then head over for brunch.