Rumored to have originated at the legendary Brennan’s in New Orleans, a Bloody Bull is a Blood Mary enriched with beef broth. It might sound simple, but that extra ingredient transforms a good drink into a great cocktail. A Bloody Mary is traditionally made with powerfully pungent ingredients like sinus-clearing horseradish, celery salt, spicy hot sauce and sometimes even kimchi. The tomato juice does an acceptable job of melding all of those flavors together, but if you get the proportions slightly wrong or use low-quality juice, the drink degenerates into gross chaos. But add a little beef broth and suddenly everything comes together into one elegant, deliciously savory, umami-packed cocktail.
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That said, it does take some know-how to make a good Bloody Bull. It’s more complex than simply dumping in a shot of canned beef broth or muddling in a bouillon cube. I’ve had Bloody Bulls so light on the broth that they might as well have been vegetarian, and I’ve tried others that had the opposite problem—they were like cold soup. I’ve also had the perfect Bloody Bull at Brooklyn Star, a neo-Southern-style restaurant and bar in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood.