Perfect Pairings: Oaky profile of distillery’s double cask bourbon complements spiciness of “bloody Mary” burger

By Kara Pound | Contributed


Nestled along St. George Street in the heart of downtown is the Bull &Crown Publick House, a European-style pub with full bar and eclectic menu. It’s one of the restaurants on the site of Colonial Quarter, an attraction highlighting three centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest City, and has become a chosen stop for cocktails, cuisine and conversation.

On this particularly warm summer day, the staff at Bull &Crown, which was established in 2010, has prepared a Bloody Mary Burger and The Colonial Whiskey Sour.

“I felt like the caramelization and oak profile of the bourbon would be a good fit with the spice of the Bloody Mary pepper sauce and the caramelized onions of the burger,” explains food and beverage manager, AJ Gruber, of the pairing. “The Bull &Crown bases its cocktails on the classic feel and The Colonial Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail with a modern twist.”

Although Bull &Crown Publick House sees a great deal of tourists through its doors, the tavern wants to give out-of-town visitors a taste of local offerings. They’ve partnered with St. Augustine Distillery to offer a “Drink Like a Local” cocktail menu featuring St. Augustine Mule, Rum Tiki Punch using the distillery’s Pot Distilled Rum and a classic St. Augustine Julep.

The Bloody Mary Burger was created by Chef John Whitworth, who developed the menus at Bull &Crown, Taberna del Caballo and the Colonial Quarter’s upcoming St. Augustine Seafood Co. restaurant.

The burger covers all of your taste buds; salty, sweet, tangy and a tad bit spicy.

“It’s like having a cocktail on a burger,” says Bull &Crown’s front of house manager and assistant kitchen manager Chris Shepherd. “You can’t go wrong. The Bloody, as we call it, is something that people always want to try – especially for lunch hours. It’s a beautifully set burger with color and flavor profiles that pop.”

The Bloody Mary Burger

1 dozen 1/2 pound burger patties

2 dozen bacon strips

To make the whipped horseradish goat cheese:

In a large mixing bowl, add 2.2 pounds of softened goat cheese and 3 pounds softened cream cheese and whip with hand mixer. When fully combined, slowly and carefully mix in 1 quart of heavy cream. When fully whipped and airy, add 12 ounces of horseradish and 1.5 tablespoons of Kosher salt. Mix thoroughly.

To make the Bloody Mary pepper sauce:

In a stockpot, heat 1 cup of olive oil on high heat. When hot, add 24 ounces sliced yellow onions, 2 ounces of medium chopped garlic cloves, and cook covered for 5 minutes. Stir frequently until onions begin to soften. Add 2 pounds sliced red bell peppers. Cook covered for another 5 minutes until softened. Add 1 can of V8 vegetable juice, .75 cups of Worcestershire sauce, 2 juiced lemons, 1 tablespoon of coarse ground black pepper and 1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt.

To assemble the burgers:

Place a leaf of romaine lettuce on to the bottom of your bun. Add the burger patty and then two slices of bacon. Top off with Bloody Mary pepper sauce. Last, add a scoop of your whipped horseradish goat cheese and finish with the other part of the bun. Enjoy!