Neighborhoods

A Fine Bloody Mess

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When you call for a Bloody Mary at Brooklyn’s intimate KINGS COUNTY bar, your fellow drinkers pay attention. Recently when I ordered one, Chops the bartender barely had the mix underway when all eyes were fixed upon the pint glass he held, into which he placed lime juice, creamy horseradish, and other sundries (of the generous pour of Guinness he mingles with the vodka, his substitution of V8 for plain-Jane tomato juice, and such oft improvised garnishes as pickled okra, he notes, “It’s a mixture of how all the bartenders here like them”). Though the bar’s modish skull-tattooed patrons don’t at first seem like connoisseurs of this archetypal brunch beverage, when I received my drink, the barfly on the neighboring stool—eschewing the beer that seems more apt in such surroundings—ordered one for himself.

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