Here’s something that’s not at all a secret about me, and I have no problems admitting: I love fruity drinks. I don’t care if something is bright pink, blue, or whatever other color of the rainbow (or all of them at once!); I just love that stuff. I’ve never felt the need to drink something gross and “manly” just to impress people. Just give me something fruit-flavored and leave me be. But when I’m talking about drinks, it’s hard for me to think of a tomato as a fruit. Tomatoes are things that I eat in tacos or on burgers, and definitely in salsa, but never liquefied into a beverage. I won’t even touch V8 unless it’s the fruity “Splash” varieties. It should come as no surprise, then, that I’d never actually tried a Bloody Mary before receiving this mixer from Backyard Salsa. Still, I wanted to give it the same honest chance that I give every other product I review, so here it is.
Tomato Juice, Water, Worchestershire Sauce, Lime Juice, Vinegar, Celery Salt, Pepper Sauce, Soy Sauce, Celery Seeds, Pepper, Spices.
I won’t claim to know much about what should and should not go into making a good Bloody Mary, but I do know that the water seems rather high up on the list. To be honest, just by looking at the rest of the ingredients list, I don’t really know how you people can drink these things. Sure, I like eating soy sauce, but I would never drink the stuff. I suppose it’s possible that the combination of the ingredients together makes for a more palatable beverage, but we’ll see.
Considering this is supposed to be a drink, I wouldn’t expect it to be too thick. Sure, I would imagine it should be thicker than a standard liquid, what with all the tomato and celery and stuff, but it still needs to be drinkable. In that respect, this mixer hits home. It’s actually very pretty, and even though I’ve never once considered ordering a Bloody Mary at a bar or restaurant, it at least looks appealing, which, considering how much I like my colorful drinks, is rather important to me.
Smell and Taste:
This one doesn’t really smell spicy at all. I mean that in the double sense, in that it doesn’t register on my heat scale, and whatever spices it has don’t reach my nose, either. It honestly just smells like vegetable juice. Maybe that’s good? I don’t know. But here’s what I do know: it tastes a little watered-down. The tomato flavor is there, and it has a bit of a celery aftertaste, but it’s nowhere near as bold as I was expecting. On the plus side, though, it isn’t salty at all, and still feels rather soothing. Even better, despite tasting a little watery, it actually masks the vodka bite surprisingly well, which is good, since the person who mixed my drink with the stuff seriously just kept pouring the liquor in. Of course, it may have just been really good vodka.
Okay, so the heat rating is an easy Mild, since there’s not really any heat to speak of. As for the flavor, I’m calling it a Neutral. I don’t hate it, but it came nowhere close to selling me on the idea of changing my preferred drink to the Bloody Mary. However, I shared this with other people at a party, and it disappeared rather quickly. They must have liked it, meaning they are probably more accustomed to drinking these things than I am. If you’re a Bloody Mary fan, consider bumping the flavor rating up to at least a Nominal. If you’re not already a fan, though, there’s no reason for you to force yourself into trying this.
I didn’t get the chance to try it with tequila, so I can’t vouch for that. However, I can say that you would probably want a reasonable-quality vodka to go with with this mixer. Anything on the bottom shelf, like Taaka, probably wouldn’t work, because the bite from the alcohol will overpower the watery juice flavor.
You may recall that David recently reviewed the brand’s Chipotle Bloody Mary Mix, and he was left with similar impressions. That’s a man who knows and enjoys his Bloody Marys, so I don’t feel like this review, despite my lack of experience with the drink, is erroneous at all. Another thing we agree on is that their salsas are much, much better. Seriously. If you’re going to order or purchase anything from the Backyard brand, do yourself a favor and buy their salsas. Those things are delicious, and you will not be disappointed at all.