Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The best bloody Mary in Chapel Hill


The most important thing coming out of this weekend for me was not the debut of UNC’s new 4-2-5 defense, nor was it the up-tempo spread style offense. Gio Bernard’s imitation of Bo Jackson from Tecmo Super Bowl was a close second. It was the (un)official crowning of the best Bloody Mary money can buy in Chapel Hill.

I consider myself a Bloody Mary snob. Joke about making it with ketchup or marinara and we may never speak again. There is an art to a proper Bloody Mary, and I do mean art. A bartender makes a Bloody Mary by a recipe. An artist does it by feel. While I grant that taste is a very subjective experience, I cannot be swayed in my appreciation for this beverage, especially when there is a noon game.

Tailgating for a noon game takes both a deft touch and a good bit of determination. Properly done, its a thing of beauty. Rarely is it properly done. Eggs with a Jagerbomb chaser is actually a banned form of torture. A Bloody Mary sits well with eggs. It’s a morning tailgater’s dream. Oh, did I mention it has vegetables in it? So it’s practically good for you.

Now back to the coronation. The artist has been making his drink for almost a decade in the same place. He only works home football weekends. If you’re gutsy, walk right into Downstairs Linda’s on game day, walk up to John the bartender and ask for a Bloody Mary. Or, if you’re not into the strong spice, mumble “easy on the heat”. You may or may not be mocked for asking for less spice… I dunno. I’ve never had the guts to ask.

So while you mumble about the noon games, and the fairness of it, and something about ACC offices being out to get UNC and something derogatory about Duke, I’m dancing at the possibility of getting the best possible start to my Old Well Walk on a beautiful Carolina Saturday. Unless its raining, in which case I’ll have another.

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Tags: North Carolina Tar Heels

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