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Deconstructed: A Bacon-Infused Bloody Mary From LA’s Belcampo Meat Co.

Welcome to Drinks Decoded, a column dedicated to exploring how the country's best cocktails are made. Up now, the House Bloody Mary at Belcampo Meat Co. in Santa Monica, CA.

Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

California's ever-expanding Belcampo Meat Co. is known in Los Angeles for humanely raised meats, expert butchery and, at the Santa Monica location, a very buzzy brunch. Bar expert Josh Goldman of Soigné Group was tasked with designing a cocktail menu for the restaurant, and when it came to brunch he knew the menu "had to have a good quality Bloody Mary." He continues, "The hallmarks of any of our cocktail programs is that they all have to feel genuine, and have a place of belonging. We have to mimic what Belcampo is doing with their food program ... this is a meat company."

"If we can't get you a cocktail out in a reasonable time, then what the hell's the point?"

The first thing Goldman addressed while creating Belcampo's House Bloody Mary was his own preference regarding cocktail texture: "For some reason, first thing in the morning, when I really want a Bloody Mary, that's really not the texture I'm looking for." To create a smoother-drinking Bloody, Goldman makes clarified tomato water. And from there the advanced bar techniques keep coming. Instead of simply adding vodka, Goldman uses a fat wash, infusing vodka with Belcampo's bacon and a secret umami weapon, porcini mushroom powder. In place of the usual celery stick garnish, Goldman adds celery juice ice cubes. He also drops in a house pepper tincture to add a more spicy yet floral character to the cocktail. Finally, the showstopper: candied bacon. All told, it's about two days worth of prep.

If this sounds like a lot of work for a Bloody Mary, it is. But Goldman points out that this work doesn't happen in service. "One of the reasons it's so prep intensive is because I don't want the build to be intensive at all," he explains. Brunches are busy. "A lot of people have the conception that craft cocktail is a 20 minute cocktail. That's not true. That's not how we do them. If we can't get you a cocktail out in a reasonable time, then what the hell's the point?"

Below, a look at how the Belcampo Meat Co. House Bloody Mary comes together:


Belcampo Meat Co.

317 South Broadway, , CA 90013 (213) 625-0304 Visit Website