10 Terrific Bloody Marys in St. Louis

click to enlarge 10 Terrific Bloody Marys in St. Louis
Boundary | Jonathan Pollack

Bloody mary connoisseurs know that the best ingredient in a perfect version of the drink is you. Fresh ingredients and top quality spirits are also key, but it’s putting them all together that is the true art. Then the recipe is limited only by the imagination.

These ten brunch destinations have pulled out all the stops to concoct masterful must-try bloody marys in St. Louis. Note: We didn't include bars that aren't open in the morning, including Famous Bar; this list is exclusively focused on helping you find that hair of the dog you need to start your day.

7036 Clayton Avenue, Hi-Pointe
At Boundary, house-made is the secret to this Bloody Mary haven. All infused vodkas, mixes, pickles and flavored salts are house-made with seasonal, local ingredients. The cocktail starts with a vodka of choice — either original or flavored with garlic, sundried tomatoes, cucumber or chili — and a flavored salt rim (choices include kosher, sriracha, chipotle, lime or Worcestershire). From there, guests can build the bloody mary of their dreams with mixes such as beef broth, shellfish broth and green tomato juice and condiments such as artisanal cheeses, hot sauces, stuffed olives, celery, house-made pickles, mild or habanero barbecue sausage, soused shrimp, regular or candied bacon, caper berries and horseradish.

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photo courtesy of Cafe Osage

Café Osage
4605 Olive Street, Central West End
At Café Osage, the bloody mary is a perfect showcase for house-made seasonal pickles from vegetables grown on the premises at Bowood Farms and herbs from the rooftop garden. A house-made dry mix is composed of eight different spices; all of it comes together with Pickney Bend Vodka, made locally in New Haven, Missouri.

click to enlarge 10 Terrific Bloody Marys in St. Louis (3)
photo courtesy of Brasserie by Niche

Brasserie by Niche
4580 Laclede Avenue, Central West End
At Brasserie, bar manager Jeffrey Ward has riffed on a recipe from chef Gerard Craft. Extra spices come from freshly ground celery seed and black pepper crushed in a mortar and pestle. Lemon, lime and pickle juices add another layer of zest, which is then balanced with fresh cucumbers and brined cornichons.

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photo courtesy of Byrd and Barrel

Byrd and Barrel
3422 South Jefferson Avenue, Cherokee District
The quirky fried chicken hotspot Byrd and Barrel serves up a fittingly distinctive bloody mary: It's rimmed with crushed Red Hot Riplets and hot sauce and topped with a fried chicken slider.

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Herbies | Gregg Goldman

8100 Maryland Avenue, Clayton
Herbie's new incarnation, which relocated from the Central West End last year, still includes brunch. Lucky us. The restaurant offers a classic unlimited bloody mary bar every Saturday and Sunday for only $16, with Sobieski vodka or a house-made pepper-infused vodka and all the fixings, such as house-made bloody mary mix or tomato juice, house-made pickled vegetables and an assortment of hot sauces, Worcestershire, horseradish and more.

Turn the page for five more great selections.