The Valley’s Favorite Bloody
Big T’s Bloody Mary is a perpetual winner. But what’s in it?
How do you build the best Bloody Mary in the Chippewa Valley? You start with vodka and tomato juice, of course. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, horseradish, and pickle juice. But that’s just the beginning: The Bloody Mary at Big T’s Saloon in Eau Claire – perennial winner of Volume One’s Best of the Chippewa Valley Poll for Best Bloody Mary – includes more than a dozen additional ingredients. Yes, most of them are garnishes: Either carefully stacked atop the glass arranged carefully on a wooden skewer.
But there is a secret ingredient, explain the folks at Big T’s (2007 Third St., Eau Claire). It’s a mysterious liquid that owner Terry Luer mixes up in the kitchen. Just don’t ask him what’s in it. “It’s got a secret sauce,” he explains. “When I die, it’s gone.”
It’s got a secret sauce. When I die, it’s gone.
terry “big t” LUER
OWNER, BIG T’S SALOON
Luer bought the cozy tavern – previously known as the Last Chance Bar — in 2010. A few years later, it began developing a reputation as a place to get a good Bloody.
“One of the bartenders really like Bloody Marys and wanted something to do on Sundays,” explains manager Rochell Allen. The tradition of serving gargantuan Bloody Marys on Sundays was born. (You can get them on Mondays, too, if there are any leftovers of the fancy fixings. And a scaled-back Bloody is available any day of the week.)
The recipe has been refined over the years, evolving into what patrons know and love today. The Bloody Marys have proven to be a boon to the bar – drawing a diverse crowd, from college students to the after-church crowd, and even drinkers from La Crosse and the Twin Cities in search of a classic Wisconsin Bloody Mary.
So what’s the draw?
“It’s something about the way they taste,” Luer said. “I’m gonna say it’s the secret sauce.”