The Hansons Get Bloodied: Ed’s (no name) Bar, Wellingtons, Signatures
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.
Ed’s (no name) Bar
Location: 252 E 3rd St, Winona, MN
Todd: I’ve been drinking this bloody for years since Ed’s is basically my holy church. Because it feels so familiar and it’s my sanctuary, the people there know my name and probably talk shit about me when I walk away, and when I’m not going there—I feel this sort of guilty feeling and emptiness in my inner being. But enough about my guilt and neuroses and no more weird religious allusions. Anyhow, I’ve liked this bloody from the beginning (you could say since its genesis…but I said I was going to quit that talk) when Ed himself started making them. It has evolved over the years though. It always had a strong garlic presence in the mix, which I have enjoyed, and it used to even have salsa in it to create a little texture and thickness, I guess. Though the salsa has seemed to go the way of the buffalo, I would say it’s now the best it has ever been and even made fresh for you every time. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia, guilt, my love for Ed’s (no name) Bar, or maybe just the fact that it’s a pretty damn good bloody—but I continue to like it and will continue to like it until it is finished.
Justin: Ed’s (no name) Bar bloody has been a favorite of mine for years. They make them from scratch, and I don’t mean in a pitcher. Each glass is carefully prepared for your one of a kind enjoyment. It is a unique bloody with a strong garlic flavor. The bloody is made with minced garlic, pickle juice, hot sauce, Tabasco, lime juice, celery salt, black pepper, and Campbell’s Tomato Juice. While watching the bloody being created our bartender put all of the ingredients in first and then added ice. This is the first time that I had ever seen that before. The bloody is garnished with two olives, two pickles, a lemon wedge, as well as a lime wedge. It is similar to the Boat House bloody but has a few differences. It is still one of my favorite bloodies to date. I had a Grain Belt as my chaser. Delicious as always.
Wellington’s Pub & Grill
Location: 1429 W Service Dr, Winona, MN
Justin: I have heard from people that Wellington’s had a good bloody so we gave this one a try. Although I was hoping for a house mix, the bloody was pretty good. It was one of the most simple bloodies that we have reviewed – it was vodka and Sacramento Bloody Mary Mix. Having said that, I now have an added appreciation for the Sacramento mix. If you wanted it spicy, they added Tabasco. The bloody is a bit thick and comes in a cool glass rimmed with celery salt. The garnishes included a pickle spear and an olive. We were able to choose our chaser from their taps so I had the local Wenonah Brewing Company’s Pale Ale. This was one of the most delicious simple Bloody Marys that I have had – that says a lot about the Sacramento Bloody Mary Mix.
Todd: I had this one in the past and thought for sure it was a house mix, but I guess it’s mainly Sacramento Bloody Mary mix, which was the base of Bub’s delicious bloody and I’ve heard it’s also used in the famous bloody at Del’s in La Crosse, WI. But while it’s a pretty untampered with mix, they do have a bunch of stuff on a shelf they’ll add to it if you’d like them to including Worcestershire and A1. I, of course, asked for mine “well spicy” so they gave me quite a few dollops of Tabasco. I like the rimmed glass too and the fact they’ve got some good beers including local stuff like Wenonah Brewing Co on tap there for your chaser. They’ve got some great food and daily specials if you’re hungry. And hey—you could even go bowling after.
theGrill at Signatures Restaurant
Location: 22852 County Rd 17, Winona, MN
Justin: Signatures has definitely one of the more fancy restaurants in the area and the bloody did not disappoint. The service was excellent. The views of the bluffs from the patio were spectacular. The bloody was served in a silo glass. I’m guessing it was 20 ounces but I didn’t clarify that. The mix was created by the Executive Chef Jeremy – we weren’t able to find out what was in it but it was a fantastic mix. The garnishes were also as fantastic as the mix: pickle, olive, pepper jack cheese, sausage chunk, pickled green bean, pickled asparagus, lemon wedge, and a lime wedge. It wasn’t thick yet wasn’t thin – a nice in between. We were offered any tap for the chaser and I chose Stella Artois. Not only was the mix excellent, the vodka that was served in this bloody was Referent Vodka infused with horseradish – amazing. To top it all off they serve the bloody with a tiny bottle of Tabasco hot sauce to flavor the spice the way you choose. Overall, delicious is an understatement. It was worth every penny.
Todd: This one has been on the to-do list for quite some time. I just assumed Signatures might have that really classy bloody since they’re known for their upscale dining experience and while that doesn’t necessarily mean good—it did in this case. I had also heard about it from an old co-worker who was also a server at Signatures at the time and she raved about it—so—I was in. Let’s start with garnishes: pickle, olive, pepper jack cheese that was delicious, sausage, pickled green bean and asparagus and some fruit too for good measure. And all quality stuff. The vodka was interesting too since it was horseradish infused and they give you a little Tabasco bottle to spice the bloody to your liking. Then, the best part, this tasty mix is engineered by a dude named Executive Chef Jeremy. I mean, I’m not sure I’ve had an Executive Chef making my bloodys before. It’s usually made by, like, a guy named Dan who’s idea of Chef is the black guy from South Park. I’m not being judgmental here. If you make a good bloody then you’re cool by me is what I’m trying to say.
|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