Sundeck’s Bloody Mary mixes mustard, Mexico and TLC
When something works, why mess with it? And when it involves mustard, don’t muck with it.
If you’ve been to the top of Aspen Mountain over the past, say, two decades, and perhaps stopped by the bar at the Sundeck, you will know what we are talking about.
Every bar, restaurant and breakfast spot has their version of the Bloody Mary, each putting a unique twist on it. But what’s been going on atop Aspen Mountain is a spin on the drink that got its roots in the land of tequila.
According to the man responsible for concocting the blend every morning, the recipe started 20 years ago and came from a busboy from Mexico who suggested a few things. (That busboy now is a successful businessman in Basalt.)
Jeff Williams has been mixing the Sundeck’s Bloody Mary nearly every season since then and said they have not messed with the ingredients.
While measurements remain behind closed doors, the blend starts with V8 juice and includes Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, pepper, lemon juice, fresh dill weed, celery salt and my piece de resistance … grey poupon. Oh, and a little TLC at the end.
“That’s it,” said Williams, who is more of a margarita man but does taste the mix each morning. “I started making this 20 years ago, and it has not changed.”
The mix is served with Skyy vodka. Texans ask for Tito’s; locals usually want Woody Creek.
With garnishes at a premium when you have to lug them up to 11,212 feet, the Sundeck bar crew keeps it simple with an olive, a couple of pepperoncinis and a lime wedge. Remember, you’ve already got the dill and celery in the mix.
On an average day they serve 50 to 60, Williams said. On a busy Sunday, they will dole out nearly 100 of them.
“The private club next door to the Sundeck will take the mix, as well,” Williams said. “We mix it downstairs and then they steal it for the club. But other than that, nowhere else can you find this mix.”
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Many locations on Basalt Mountain were barren as recently as two months ago. However, nutrients unlocked during the Lake Christine Fire and a wet winter have sparked a remarkable recovery. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is leading fire ecology tours to discuss the changes.