Some of us chant her name three times in a dark bathroom to hopefully (not) summon a mirror-demon that will impress the cowardly sleepover attendees waiting outside. Others of us, namely those 21 and over, prefer to invoke the spirit by gesturing wordlessly to a drink menu while meditating in oversized sunglasses. Yes, we’re talking about the Bloody Mary—Queen of Brunch and the Hair of the Dog that will save us all.
The drink was invented by an American bartender in Paris, as the story goes, to liven up the “tasteless” vodka brought over by Russian emigres. Once the vodka was mixed with tomato juice and laced with black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce, it took on the name Bucket of Blood before easing into more appetizing monikers like Red Snapper and Red Hammer. Somewhere along the way it was christened the Bloody Mary, either after a fiery waitress or the murderous Queen Mary I of England.
But these days, the cocktail is more famous for its crazy garnishes than its origin story. Gone are the days of being handed a spiked glass of juice with a single sad celery stalk—now Bloodys can be speared with anything from a pickle to an entire pizza. At Ellis Island Casino’s beloved Bloody Mary Bar open Saturday & Sunday 9AM-2PM, the greatest hits of brunch are bite-sized and ready to be skewered and stirred. Go classic with olives and a lemon wedge or all out with alternating stacks of shrimp, fried chicken, waffles, and bacon. But if you’d rather keep your food and drink separate, there is also the famous Monday Lounge Brunch complete with bottomless Bloody Marys and Mimosas. For $12 you can have as many simple Buckets of Blood as your eggs benedict-lined stomach can handle.