The first suggestion came from one of my favorite local food bloggers, Erin from over at Erin's Food Files. She and her fiancee Nate are both aficionados of Bulleit Bourbon, and I happened to run in to them at a Tom Bulleit bottle-signing event at Midtown Wine and Spirits. After we had gotten his John Hancock on our half-gallons, Erin pointed me toward a display of bottles and told me that I should try some Nemiroff Honey-Pepper Ukrainian vodka.
Far be it from me to ignore a pretty woman's advice, so I added a bottle to my cart. After eying it for a few days on the top shelf of my home bar, I figured it was time to crack the seal. True to Erin's words, the Nemiroff made one of the best Bloody Marys I'd ever tried. Paired with my buddy Tom Laffey's Tilted Palm Bloody Mary mix, the spicy/sweet combination of the honey and the pepper gave me just one more reason to root for the onset of college football season. Try one and tell me what you think. I've heard that they mix a mean one at Red Door East.
If you really want to get your entire breakfast in a glass as you sip on a Bloody, you might want to try a new premium potato vodka called ... wait for it ... Bakon Vodka. Compared to most novelty bacon-based products, Bakon is a real step above. The gentle smoky aroma doesn't overpower the spirit, and the product really does mix well without offering that fake "Liquid Smoke" flavor you get from some infusions.
The recipes on their home page can get a little bit tacky, though. While I'm all about a "Waffle Shot," please keep you "Bakon Chocolate Martini" out of range of my nose and my arm sweep or else there may be breakage.