Globe bar manager Greg David may just have a comet by the tail with the fiery George's Bloody Mary Mix
Fresh tomato juice, a sultry blend of flavors, and a lot of time and legwork: Those are the ingredients in bartender Greg David’s recipe for success with George’s Mixes, the producer of the widely popular George’s Bloody Mary Mix.
Greg and his partners — girlfriend Theda Bakis and her twin sister, Alex — have catapulted George’s Bloody Mary Mix into 300 bars, restaurants and other locations statewide in less than two years. This all-in-one, six-ingredient mix — named after Greg’s father — is served as-is; just add your favorite spirit. It has its own spicy kick, and unlike many mixes, uses fresh tomato juice and horseradish.
Currently the bar manager at The Globe in Berlin, Greg first developed the idea while working at Middleton Tavern in Annapolis. Trial and error over years of bartending led him to the concoction.
“After about two years, all the customers at brunch one Sunday were like, ‘That’s it, Greg. That’s the recipe!’” Greg said.
When Greg left Annapolis for Ocean City in 2006, at the request of Globe owner Jennifer Dawicki, his recipe came with him. As The Globe flourished, so did the drink, winning the Best Spicy Bloody Mary contest at Seacrets two months later. Greg readily credits The Globe as the birthplace of “George’s” but also acknowledges that 20 years of bartending experience was invaluable to helping him know what the customer wants.
The drink was so well received that customers asked him to bottle it, but Greg didn’t feel he had the time or energy. So, in 2011, he consented to let Theda move forward with the idea. All Greg had to come up with was an exact recipe. “It took us four months to measure what I had been eyeballing for 16 years,” Greg said, laughing.
Before the product even went to market, Reliable Churchill, the largest wine-and-spirit distributor in Maryland, had approached them with a contract. While they waited for the paperwork to go through, Greg, Theda and Alex drove around and sold to stores themselves. Not a single store turned them down.
Now, with Reliable Churchill’s resources and a rustic label depicting the Ocean City skyline over a map of Maryland, George’s Mixes is only growing, with non-carriers clamoring for a bottle at customers’ requests. The company will soon release “George’s Mild Bloody Mary Mix” locally but intends to follow that up with a bar mixer/sauce this summer and a Margarita mix next year.
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