The Hansons Get Bloodied: Betty Jo’s, Bub’s, Lucky’s
This is the chronicle of two men who share the same last name and penchant for putting alcohol into their tomato-based beverages. Two brothers from different mothers, who are united—not by blood—but by bloody. My name is Todd Hanson—maybe you know me from my Instagram pictures of Bloody Marys (#toddsbloody)? Maybe not. My friend and drinking companion on this quest is Justin Hanson, who is not only one heck of a guy, but also one heck of a bloody aficionado himself. Follow us around Winona and beyond as we seek out the best Bloody Marys this area has to offer and report back our findings in the greatest detail our bloody addled memories will allow—one drinking hole at a time. It’s a tough calling, but somebody’s got to do it.
Location: 66 Center St, Winona, MN
Price: $5.25 (standard bloody) / $9.30 (the Big Betty bloody)
Other Info: You have to ask specifically for the Big Betty which isn’t on the menu if you want to go large.
Todd: I’ve had this bloody many times before and they’ve got some great daily specials and food at Betty Jo’s—just in case you weren’t aware. It wasn’t until I asked what happened to their Sunday bloody bar, about a year or two back, that I was told about the Big Betty though. Basically, if you order the Big Betty, you get your bloody in a bigger glass (20oz) and you get two shrimp and a meat stick added (which was once a part of the now defunct Sunday bloody bar). The weird thing is, servers there never tell you the Big Betty exists and they never try to up sell you when you order a bloody—and it’s not on the menu. So—now you know. I opted for their standard bloody though this time, so Justin could tackle the big one. I had an order of wings and fries on the way anyhow. I grabbed a Lemon Shandy as my beer chaser. You know, because it’s Summertime and Zima is no longer in production, so what can you do? While their standard bloody doesn’t have the size or flash of Big Betty, it does have the same tasty doctored Major Peters mix and many of the core garnishes.
Justin: Betty Jo’s is known to have a great Bloody Mary. I hadn’t had this one for quite some time and it didn’t disappoint. I ordered the Big Betty. This sodium filled thirst quencher is served in a 20 ounce glass and comes with two shrimp, a pickle, pickled mushroom, full beef stick, pepper jack cheese chunk, and an olive. The bloody has an all-inclusive flavor that is both sweet and spicy. It is not thick, nor thin and is different from all bloodies we have had in the area. We asked what was in their mix and the bartender gladly told us. The base of the mix is Major Peters Bloody Mary Mix–they add lemon pepper, celery salt, and Tabasco. We were able to choose any chaser–I chose the Sam Adams Summer Ale. I would go back for this one for many reasons: the distinctive flavor, the 20 ounces, and it’s not your average Bloody Mary.
Bub’s Brewing Co
Location: 65 E 4th St, Winona, MN
Price: $3.50 (12oz) / $3.75 (pint)
Other Info: You’d better make sure to specify you want the bigger glass if you do, or else you’ll get the standard 12oz one.
Justin: Bub’s has been one of my ‘go to’ food places for many years but is also a place that serves a one of a kind tasty Bloody Mary. The bloody that they serve is nothing to brag about concerning garnishes but the unique flavor of the bloody itself is one of the reasons that this red drink is one of my favorites in the area. The first taste always throws me off, but the more you drink it, the better it gets. It is a thicker house mix that uses Sacramento Bloody Mary mix (it comes in a can similar to what tomato juice) as the base. They doctor it up a bit with pepper, Tabasco, celery salt, lime juice, and Worcestershire Sauce. It also comes with a rimmed glass (celery salt)–always a favorite of mine. Normally, the bloodies are served in 12 ounce glasses but they will serve it to you in a pint glass per request. The garnishes that accompany the bloody are a pickle, lime, and an olive. They also serve two-for-one burgers on Tuesdays, which is always one heck of a deal. They give you the choice of any of their tap beers for the chaser – I chose the Bub’s Amber Ale. The service is great and the bloody is definitely one of the area’s best.
Todd: Bub’s has been a staple in my Winona dining experience since college, with their 2-4-1 burger Tuesdays and, of course, their next level cellar mushrooms with the delicious Bub’s tiger sauce. So, I’ve had my fair share of bloodys there and they’ve never been a disappointment. No matter who’s making them, they always manage to taste like the Bub’s bloody—delicious that is. I finally found out that unique flavor comes from a base of Sacramento Bloody Mary mix that they then doctor up with various spices and it all comes in a rimmed 12oz glass. Long story short—this is a really good bloody at a really good price.
Lucky’s on Third
Location: 107 W 3rd St, Winona, MN
Justin: There are many places in the area that use Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix as the base to their Bloody Mary and this bloody is no different. Having said that, we don’t review straight Zing Zang and vodka bloodies. We prefer that if they use any bloody mary mix that the establishment make it their own in some way, which Lucky’s does. They add hot sauce, Sriracha hot sauce, red pepper, celery salt, lemon, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, as well as basil and garlic. With all of the additions it has its own flavor that is refreshing. The garnishes were a lime, two olives, a pickle, beef stick, and white cheese curds. They offer any of their taps for the chaser – Surly, of course, for me. A good Zing Zang bloody it was.
Todd: This establishment has been known by many different names over the years including Bullseye, Stingers, McCune’s, and now Lucky’s on Third. It has been more of your typical 3rd street college bar, but don’t let that dissuade you from coming in if you’re not an EDM listening 20-something with a minor in Communications. It’s actually pretty nice in there and college bar means cheap prices. This is a tasty bloody with Zing Zang at its heart and a good amount of garnish with pickle, beef stick, cheese curds (apparently from a local farm), green olive, and lime. It also comes in a rimmed pint. I got mine spicy so they added Sriracha. And the best part—it’s made with Absolut Peppar standard. All that for 4 bucks is a great value.
|Check back to see our continuing bloody adventures. We’ll try to hit up a few places in each post. Also, be sure to let us know if you’ve got the lead on a must have Bloody Mary near the Winona area. If you do, you can email me and maybe you’ll see it in our next adventure. Until then—stay bloody.|
Header photo credit: Sarah Roberts