By RYAN NEWHOUSE
Fresh powder means one-and-a-half things in Missoula: hitting the slopes at Montana Snowbowl and finishing the day with a slice of wood-fired pizza and a famous mouthwatering Bloody Mary at Last Run Inn.
As a non-skier myself, I occasionally make an excuse to drive up Grant Creek, turn onto Snow Bowl Road and meander up to Last Run Inn for a sip of something to warm my palate.
Available in both Habanera and a traditional recipe, Snowbowl’s Bloody Marys have consistently earned top honors in the Missoula Independent “Best of Missoula” Reader’s Poll for “Best Bloody Mary.”
Of course, the runners-up, The Rhinoceros at 158 Ryman and the Old Post at 103 W. Spruce, deserve their share of the spotlight and should be personally sampled in order to come to your own fair conclusion.
The Bloody Mary at Last Run Inn was invented by the bar owner, Garland Davis, nearly 20 years ago. The secret ingredient for the superbly salty, yet tangy treat is this: Garland Davis’s “Sheer Hell” Bloody Mary Mix. Bartenders at Last Run Inn say on their busiest days they will serve around 200 Bloody Marys to the resort’s thirsty and tired thrill-seekers.
The true origins of the Bloody Mary are as spicily disputed as the drink itself. Some believe it was invented in 1921 at the New York Bar (later called Harry’s New York Bar), where Ernest Hemmingway would frequently hang out. Others claim the cocktail was invented by George Jessel in 1939, at which time the recipe was simply half tomato juice, half vodka.
Today, the cocktail is commonly made with vodka, tomato juice, celery salt, ground black pepper, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish (pure, not creamed), lemon or lime juice and garnished with a celery stalk. It is rumored that the Bloody Mary can be used to treat hangovers. I’ll keep testing that theory and let you know what I find out.
The name for the drink, Bloody Mary, though most commonly linked to Queen Mary I of England, is also debatable. Some say the cocktail was named after a movie star, Mary Pickford; others point to a waitress named Mary who worked at the bar, Bucket of Blood, in Chicago.
Whatever the origins of this classic cocktail, the skiers and snowboarders at Montana Snowbowl are just as happy to call it “ordered.” Back to “Drink it” home page.
Ryan Newhouse has lived in Missoula since 2002 and has tipped his glass in most of the town’s establishments. He is a full-time writer, husband and parent (in no particular order) and a part-time zymurgist. He makes a mean hard cider and pairs his cocktails with dishes from his blog, Cooked Animals: Recipes for Wild Game.