Mary Tudor’s bloody reign over England in the 16th century—when she turned the nation back to Catholicism, burned heretics at the stake, and killed some 300 Protestants—is believed to have inspired the world’s most popular alcoholic hangover cure in the 20th century. But it was not until the new millennium that the drink was perfected by chef Jason Brasch at Report In Pub, located in Omaha’s Bel Air Plaza.
For in a world of concocted stunt drinks, Report In Pub has defied convention to manifest the most complicated and violent Bloody Mary since the Tudor queen herself.
Brasch, like a mad scientist, says he has tried many unusual cocktail recipes over the years.
“I usually try and make things off ideas I see randomly online,” he says. “Many of them I try and fail, but I always like to try them. I was always good at making Bloody Marys, so having a good mix was easy.”
When asked where the idea to make this particular Bloody Mary recipe came from—topped with a cheeseburger, fried pickle spears, onion rings, chicken wings, a non-fried pickle, olives, celery, and bacon skewered together, all levitating above a giant 36-ounce mug—Brasch admits there was indeed more to the story.
“The idea came because we were exploring the attic and storage spaces in the bar when we found the mugs,” Brasch says. “My friend was hungover and loved my Bloody Marys. He wanted a little sampler of a couple of the [menu] items, and a mini burger, because he was too hungover to eat too much of anything.”
Brasch says his groggy compadre told him a hangover special for people with all those snacks would make a great Bloody Mary deal.
“I had seen places do Bloody Marys with a bunch of food online,” Brasch says. “So I found a skewer and used it to make it look fancy. I still have the picture from my friend with the first one on Facebook.”
What started as a joke soon had neighborhood folks coming in droves.
“We made a Facebook post as kind of a joke, and people started coming in for it,” Brasch says. “We get a lot of nurses and people from the neighborhood who have been coming in since the ’60s.”
According to Brasch, he went to college to become a civil engineer, thus explaining how he managed to design a leaning tower of bar snacks that doesn’t tip over when served. Though his reasons for switching from engineering to hospitality are shrouded in mystery, Brasch says the career change has been lucrative.
“My grandmother had always told my mom to invest in alcohol, hair salons, and tobacco because she said they were all recession proof,” Brasch says of some of the legal things people do for money. “I graduated from the University Nebraska-Lincoln with a civil engineering degree in 2009, but my mom and I wanted to get into the bar business because we realized the potential for a neighborhood pub if run correctly.”
It was a good bet. Brasch says they got a “super-good deal” on the bar. With his mother retiring and looking for something new and fun to do, the bar has become a family investment project.
It’s the customers, however, who get a super-good deal—whether they need to deal with a bloody queen or a bloody-wicked hangover.
Visit reportinpubomaha.com for more information.
This article was printed in the Jan/Feb 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine.