Though its origins are cloudy, the Bloody Mary has long been known as the ultimate hair of the dog cocktail. Darlinghurst's slick new Bloody Mary's is a likeable tribute to this legendary drink, a light small bar with a range of hangover-friendly food and a whole raft of variations on the classic cocktail, all featuring their pulpy housemade tomato juice.
There's a strong New England vibe in both the menu and the neat design, from the crisp white walls to the wall-length mirrors, making it easy to pretend you're in a Cape Cod holiday house, nursing a sore head after a glamorous soiree.
Let's get to the Bloody Marys. The original ($14), made here with Ketel One vodka, is hard to beat, although the Bloody Pirate ($15) made with dark rum is an intriguing variation, especially when blended with the array of hot sauces (tabasco garlic pepper, green pepper, pickaperra gingery mango or some sriracha) allowing you to amp up the spiciness of your drink for a wake up kick.
The Bloody Hell ($25) is equal parts cocktail and elaborate snack sampler, with a fat prawn, chicken wing and even a slider found on skewers amongst the more familiar celery stalk and cherry tomato toppings.
But there's not just slider garnishes on the menu. You can start with fresh Oyster Bloody Mary Shots ($6) and move onto something like the quirky Spam Burger ($16), which comes with bacon, lettuce and mustard and a side of thin fries in a Spam tin.
If you want to really get stuck into some restorative eating, the 'Heart Attack Platter' ($48, serves three people) is an absolute cornucopia of food, heaped with Brooklyn Boy Bagels crisps, fiery Buffalo chicken wings, onion rings, chilli salt shrimp, piquant jalapeno poppers and pots of lime aioli and guacamole.
For a lighter option, go for the fish of the day ($24), on this night a nicely moist barramundi with a stack of fresh coleslaw, or try the chunky, well-seasoned Boston Chowder ($14), which is thick with clam flavour and comes with hunks of crunchy bread for dipping.
You can also try your hand at making your own cocktail ($15), or sample the likes of a very sweet Kandi Kayne ($18), a fizzy tipple with lychee liquer or something from their international wine list, maybe a plummy Argentinian Terrazas malbec ($13/$57).
The main focus however is the mighty Bloody Mary and whether you're looking to nurse a hangover or create a new one, Bloody Mary's has you covered in style.