I recently attended the PR launch event of a great new brand – Your Buddy Mary.
The creator and Chief Buddy; Simon, contacted me about the brand a short while back, and I was immediately interested in the concept he was working on. I had actually just got back from Canada where we had been drinking Caesars; a cocktail very similar to a bloody mary, but with a bit of a twist in the form of Clamato juice instead of tomato juice, so I was excited to try out the variations of the drink at the event.
Your Buddy Mary is of course based around the famous drink – Bloody Mary. The idea behind the brand is to hold a host of experiences in different forms. These range from office deliveries to cure hangovers, to boozy boat parties, and everything in-between – serving amazing variations of the cocktail, with matched food to complement the both drink and your hangover. I love the idea, and I do think that (especially after attending the event) Bloody Marys are something that should be shouted about more often – the variations and the flavour combinations can be something truly amazing, with the added bonus of perking you up after a night on the town!
The launch party was held at The Restaurant Bar and Grill just off Deansgate, in their private dining space. The invitation requested that myself, along with the rest of the 20 exclusive invitees turn up hungover and hungry at 11.30am – ready for the event to start. Upon arrival we were handed Bellinis or beers, and were given a quick overview of what the morning would entail, before being given a short while to settle in and chat with the other guests. We were then shown into the dining area, took our seats and made ourselves comfortable whilst getting familiar with the menus.
Simon gave us a quick introduction and introduced the first course and drinks of the morning, which were the Virgin Juiced Mary, The Original Bloody Mary and Red Snapper cocktails, accompanied by breakfast pizza. My favourite of the first round was definitely the Red Snapper, which seemed to be everyone else’s favourite too. Plus the super cute mason jars they were served in just sold it to me – I am such a sucker for novelty items. When the pizzas were brought out, Simon advised that they would probably be something intended to share when served at an event or in a bar, and to not fill up on it as there was more food to come. Despite this, everyone probably ate more than half anyway as they were so incredibly delicious. They were almost like an upside down pie with a mountain of cheesy fillings including sausage, beans, egg, tomato, and bacon, all topped with oozy melting cheese and encased in delicious pastry.
When we had finally had our fill and a little too much of the pizzas, the waiters took the plates away (definitely for the best as I could have carried on eating until it was all gone) and we got ready for the next course. We were introduced to Joe Butcher from Maxxium, who are the UK distributors for Stoli Vodka. He talked us through the brand and gave us the opportunity to try Elit from Stoli, which is an incredibly pure vodka made with the highest quality ingredients, centuries-old traditions and a unique and revolutionary freezing filtration process, specially developed and patented by the SPI Group. After tasting and getting to know the brand, we were also told that whichever guest created the best social media posts around the brand and the event, would win a bottle of Stoli vodka to take home with them.
Next up, we were presented with the most Instagram-able drink I had ever seen, and it took the guests a good 15-20 minutes of photography and social media time before anyone was brave enough to dig in and destroy this incredible piece of edible art! Titled ‘Theres Something About Mary’, the towering cocktail consisted of an amazing Bloody Mary, a full burger, pickles and olives, and a chicken skewer, all of which tasted just incredible and the whole thing was quite clearly the star of the show. Once everyone had photographed the creation in all of it’s glory, we started to tackle the epic tower of food and drink. Even the first bite of the chicken skewer was amazing – I could have eaten a full portion of just those. I then tackled the burger and the other goodies that were all tactically skewered and stacked into place, and finally managed to get to the cocktail below. The bloody mary itself was amaaaazing. The perfect combination of ingredients, I would actually say this is the best bloody mary I have ever tasted.
After attempting to demolish There’s Something About Mary, and kindly being topped up on bellinis and beers, the next task was to get stuck in for the DIY Mary course. We were able to choose a Stoli Vodka (either standard, citrus or jalaepno), and then use whatever ingredients we fancied from the range of herbs, spices and condiments, mixed with tomato juice, to create our own personal Bloody Mary. We all got the chance to create our own, shake it, and then bottle and label it to take home. I absolutely loved this part of the experience, and think it’s such a nice idea to be able to take something away with you at the end that you have created yourself.
The final round of drinks to end the afternoon was the Bacon, Beam & Maple, the Bloody Maria, and the Bloody Caesar. My favourite of the three was the Caesar, as it will always be something that reminds me of my family in Canada and our time there this year! I loved the variations using different spirits and flavours to create whole new drinks. One of the main things a took away from this event is that there are so many awesome ways to make a Bloody Mary and that it can be suited to so many different tastes. The Bacon, Beam and Maple was for those sweet tooth amongst us, while the Bloody Maria is perfect for the tequila lover.
After a throughly enjoyable and boozy afternoon, the experience wrapped up and we all left after having such a great time. I am also very happy to say that I was the winner of the social media competition, and won the Stoli Vodka prize to take home! The whole afternoon was so much fun and I would definitely try out one of the experiences for yourself. I had no idea how many types of Bloody Mary’s there could be, and how many ingredients you can use and get creative with; this is definitely a drink I will be choosing more often now. I can’t recommend the brand itself and the experiences enough; you are guaranteed to have an awesome time and Simon was a great host to all of the guests – making sure that everyone enjoyed themselves and left the event happy.
You can check out the Your Buddy Mary website here.
Don’t forget to book in for an experience – there are some great offers and packages to choose from. I will 100% be booking in for a #BuddysBoozyBargeBonanza experience!