Behind the Mix: Q&A with Mixologist Bradley Ryan

 

For Bradley Ryan, the expert mixologist behind WithCo Cocktails, crafting the perfect Bloody Mary recipe takes time, patience, and commitment. Combined with WithCo's uncompromising standard for fresh, top-of-the-line ingredients, Bradley's pursuit of perfection was no easy feat. That's why he took no shortcuts when formulating the new Bloody Mary mix, producing a result that's clean, flavorful, and well worth the wait. We spoke with Bradley to find out what went into the bold new flavor, plus what didn’t make the cut, and why. 

W: What makes the perfect Bloody Mary?

B: For me, the perfect Bloody Mary is about balance of salt, acid, and spice.  If it’s too much of one or too little of another then it just doesn’t have that “oh baby” moment on your first sip.

W: How does WithCo's Bloody Mary differ from any other on the shelves?

B: The main thing we are seeing on the shelves is mixes that have been processed to death by incorporating other sauces that are already processed into their mixes.  Our Bloody Mary is full of lots of different spices and raw horseradish and raw ginger and fresh lemon juice in order to keep it truly fresh feeling but also remaining true to the nostalgic flavor of a Bloody Mary.  We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with this drink, we simply aim to make it clean and fresh.
 

W: How long did it take to perfect this recipe? What obstacles did you face?

B: Took one day, no obstacles, I’m a genius.  Ha!  I wish.  This one definitely took about 10+ batch attempts to find the balance.  We struggled with making it too thick at first, then we struggled with getting the salt to acid balance, then it was a spiciness battle.  A Bloody Mary is easy if you’re using hot sauce and Worcestershire but going all fresh is a commitment. 

W: Why no Worcestershire?

B: We wanted a Bloody Mary that was true to our core value of using fresh ingredients.  Worcestershire is full of flavor yes but that comes along with extracts, flavorings, molasses, barley malt vinegar, and anchovies.  I just really couldn’t get down with that.  We mimicked that rich flavor with a layered depth of spices so that the flavor is not tomato gazpacho but instead the hangover cure drink we all know and love.

W: What's your favorite liquor pairing and garnish for the WithCo Bloody Mary?

B: Tequila or Mezcal for me, garnished with a celery stick, big fat green olives, a cube of hard cheese, and a lemon wedge.

 

After years of experience mixing and managing top bar programs in Nashville, TN, Bradley knows a thing or two about cocktails. As WithCo's resident Mixologist, he formulates every WithCo mix with meticulous attention to quality, flavor, and versatility, to give it that fresh-from-the-bar feeling that makes WithCo stand out. The long-awaited Bloody Mary mix is now available for purchase here. 

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