Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happiest Hour: Tamarack's Bloody Mary Bar

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM

The Fourth of July is still a week out, but we're not exactly the sorts to refrain from celebrating early. As far as we're concerned, we get two weekends to party in honor of the old Red, White and Blue. Which means we'll probably be needing a boost come Saturday morning. Fortunately we found just the thing.

This week: Tamarack's Bloody Mary Bar

Why you’re here: It’s Saturday morning, and Friday night refuses to release its hold. Headache, nausea, a mild loss of self respect—fresh veggies and a trickle of vodka sound like the only good reasons to get out of bed. So you head down to Tamarack Brewing and promptly realize you aren’t alone. The place is packed, for one good reason...

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What you’re drinking: A Bloody Mary of your own making. Last fall, with the onset of Griz football season, Tamarack began offering a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. For $6, a bartender hands you a pint glass of Absolute vodka and basically tells you to go nuts: asparagus, peppers, carrots, celery, the bar’s own specialty mix. As Tamarack’s Kara Funk puts it, the Bloody Mary is “the hangover cure of Missoula.” And this is Missoula’s only DIY operation.

Who’s helping you: The Bloody Mary bar features not only Tamarack’s signature mix, but also a host of unique recipes from various bartenders. Funk calls hers the “Funk Master Flav,” and it’s not for the faint of heart. Generous helpings of Tabasco, horseradish and wasabi will have that hangover escaping through your tear ducts in no time.

What’s new this summer: With the start of Missoula’s farmer’s market, Tamarack decided to switch things up. Every Saturday at 6 a.m., one of the cooks heads downtown to pick up the freshest ingredients around. Carrots, rainbow cherry tomatoes, chive cheese, mint. There’s no limit to how much you can use, and Funk says she’s seen folks leave the bar with skewers of ingredients, “like a salad on the side.” The spread is as local as you’re bound to get, making this not just a hands-on hangover cure but a locavore’s dream.

Where to find it: Tamarack Brewing’s Bloody Mary bar is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, though Funk says they won’t leave you suffering if you show up a bit earlier. The bar is located riverside, at 231 W. Front St.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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