Five Unique Bloody Marys in Milwaukee

Welcome guest contributors to, Bloody Mary experts, Shannon and TJ .   Shannon and TJ are Wisconsin born and raised, living in Milwaukee with their dog Beau. On the weekend, they are on a (hopefully) never-ending quest to find the best Bloody Mary around.   Find more of the boozy adventures on their blog:   The website features reviews and photos of dozens of Bloody Marys in and around Wisconsin.


“These are five of the most unique Bloody Marys in the area!  There are others out there who may have crazier garnishes, but we thrive to find establishments that make their own Bloody Mary mix.  Milwaukee has a never-ending sea of bars, so creating a Bloody Mary to stand out isn’t the easiest task. ”

4th Base, 5117 W. National Ave, Milwaukee,


“Fourth Base in West Allis is unique for many reasons.  One of them, as I consider, is their Bloody Mary.  Each one is made by hand, and to order.  With each Bloody Mary, they make fresh onion straws to be plopped right in the drink.  There are so many, they serve the Bloody Mary on a plate as the onion straws overflow the pint glass.  The saltiness of the fried onion goes so perfectly with the classic Bloody Mary mix.  Other garnishes included were a large pickle spear, a slice of fresh yellow squash, fresh green bean, sugar snap pea, a fresh broccoli floret, and a green olive.”

Riverwest Filling Station, 701 E. Keefe Ave, Milwaukee.


“This is the hottest Bloody Mary in Milwaukee!  The bartender warned me and I went for it anyway.  My palette craves hot foods and I seek spiciness.  I couldn’t hang with this beast though.  They marinate the vodka in ghost peppers for a month.  Not a day, not a week… one month!  This mix knocked me on my butt.  It was so hot, the bartender gave me more tomato juice to level it out after a couple of sips. “I told you so”, she joked.  Riverwest also has regular mixes too.  If hot isn’t your thing, try another one!”

Cafe Bavaria, 7700 Harwood Avenue, Wauwatosa


“The house mix is primarily the same at any Lowlands location (Benelux, Centraal, Hollander) but they do add different seasonings and garnishes to make each Bloody Mary unique.  The Wurst Bloody Mary has caraway garlic and horseradish-infused vodka to create a unique spiciness.   This Bloody Mary comes with the typical green olive and pickle plus a pickled brussel sprout, cheese curd, a slice of bacon and wurst slices.  It was a true German/Wisconsin mash-up.”

AJ Bombers, 1247 N. Water Street, Milwaukee

AJ Bombers

“The Bloody Mary at AJ Bombers can’t get better.  Between the housemade mix and the garnish, you could make it into a meal.  After ordering, they cook up a mini bacon wrapped cheeseburger patty as the garnish.  When you mix these garnishes with the super smooth, homemade mix, AJ Bombers has a winner with this Bloody Mary.  And although this Bloody Mary could be a meal, get a burger too.  They’re fantastic! ”

Transfer Pizzeria Cafe, 101 W. Mitchell Street, Milwaukee


Come for the Bloody Mary, stay for the pizza!  This super unique mix has a pizza spin on it that will perk your taste buds.  The thin tomato juice was mixed heavily with basil and parsley that created a very different taste than what you’re used to.  There wasn’t much garlic, horseradish or other typical flavorings either so it was truly in it’s own bracket.  The garnish is simple with a pickle spear, a cheese stick, feta cheese stuffed olive, a pepperoncini and a green olive.

If you know of a great Bloody Mary, shoot Shannon and TJ a message at

Take Three Tuesday: The Best Bloody Mary in Racine/Kenosha is….

December 16, 2014 – THREE FOR TUESDAY –  Last week, we asked our members to share their thoughts on the best local Bloody Mary. After much research and yes, a designated driver, we have compiled our results for our top three. Of note, when our order was taken, we simply ordered a “Bloody Mary” – no special requests were made. When asked for a heat level, we always went with “medium”.

Coming in at number 3 – Mars Cheese Castle, 2800 West Frontage Road Kenosha, Wisconsin

mars cheese castle bloody mary
This was a good, standard Bloody Mary made with Worcestershire, a few splashes of pickle juice, vodka, Tabasco and V8. The glass was rimmed with celery salt which was a nice touch. The drink was garnished green olives and pickled asparagus (another nice touch). This was definitely the spiciest of all the Bloody Marys sampled – we weren’t asked for a heat level. A beer back was included with our drink, and we got to choose from their tappers. We went with Spotted Cow. The cheese and crackers available at the bar was also appreciated .

No. 2 –  Ashling on the Lough, 125 56th Street, Kenosha, Wisconsin

ashling on the lough bloody mary

We really liked the Bloody Mary at Ashling. It included the usual Worcestershire, celery salt and vodka. Their Bloody mix was in a plastic tumbler, not from a can. We were asked if we’d like it hot, medium or mild – we went with medium, and it was spot on. Being an Irish pub, they topped their Bloody with a little Guinness as well. We LOVED their garnishes – a lemon and lime wedge, a pickle, green olives, a pepperoni stick (yummy) and string cheese. We weren’t offered a choice of a beer back; Harps was given to us. I was ok with that though. I chalked it up to a very large group of people arriving at the bar right before we got there. Since there was only one bartender, he was incredibly busy. Overall, I would go back for this drink, and Ashling on the Lough definitely gets the best garnish award.

And our No.1  is – Ivanhoe, 231 Main Street Racine, Wisconsin

Ivanhoe Bloody Mary

Full disclosure here – I did not get to see this Bloody Mary being made because we were sitting at a booth, not the bar. However, when our drink order was taken, we were asked if we wanted mild, medium or spicy (I hope others take note of this because IMO, an overly spicy Bloody ruins it for me). We were also asked for our preference of a beer back. We went with Spotted Cow. The drinks were garnished with a pickle and green olives and topped with celery salt. Now, I really like a variety of garnishes, so admittedly, I was a tad bummed at first sight, but then I took a sip…. YUM! Seriously, this is a tasty, tasty Bloody Mary with some pretty complex flavors. When we asked about the Bloody mix, we were told that the secret is their infused vodka made specifically for their Bloody Mary’s. That’s right – they soak carrots, celery, garlic, cooked bacon (that’s right, BACON) and various other ingredients (I’m leaving out some things because it’s their recipe, not mine) with 7 or 8 bottles of vodka to get that delicious flavor.

While I’m hoping that Ivanhoe will choose to up their garnish game a bit in the future, taste-wise, this was hands down the best Bloody Mary. We will, without a doubt, be back for this drink (and the Poutine). Nicely done, Ivanhoe. Nicely done.