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How to make getting to Catalina even more fun — with a Bloody Mary

While there are plenty of options for getting to Catalina, if you’re like most island visitors, you’ll get to the island aboard Catalina Express. IEX Helicopters and Newport Beach’s Catalina Transportation Services are other options, but Catalina Express offers up to 30 departures a day and travelers can choose from three different ports: Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point.

Once onboard one of the boats in the company’s fleet of vessels, Catalina Express offers a full bar and a range of snacks to keep you fueled up for the crossing. The friendly bartenders are happy to craft just about any concoction, but locals and frequent travelers know just what to order. Catalina Express is famous for its Bloody Marys. For decades, these crave-worthy cocktails have pleased the palates of the Catalina ferry service’s passengers and once you’ve had one, you’ll be hooked as well.

While Bloody Marys are traditionally a breakfast cocktail, these cocktails are perfect at any time. And if you order one (or two) on an early morning boat? It’s a breakfast cocktail – and you’re on vacation. Rumor has it they are also particularly effective as a pick-me-up when you’ve over-imbibed the day before.


If you don’t drink, don’t worry. They are just as good – well, almost – without the booze.

While Catalina Express gets the balance of vodka, spice and Mary mix just right, it’s the garnish that makes this cocktail something special. Pickled spicy green beans are a perfect stand in for a stir stick – but you definitely want to eat it. If you’re lucky, the bartender will even give you more than one. Once you’ve savored their puckerish deliciousness, you’ll find yourself wanting some for home. And you’d be out of luck. Until now. The beans are now available at Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co and at one of the most popular stores in Avalon, The Steamer Trunk, located at 605 Crescent Avenue.

All you need now is the recipe.

1 ¼ oz. Absolute Vodka

8 oz. Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix

1 splash Worcestershire sauce

1 dash celery salt

1 dash Tabasco sauce (or more for a spicier Mary)

1 squeeze of fresh lime

1 spicy green bean


Mix the first five ingredients together and then pour over ice. Finish with a squeeze of lime and a dash (or more) of the Tabasco. Garnish with the green bean and enjoy! And if you’re making your own, you can garnish with as many green beans as you like. Go ahead, add four—no one’s judging you.

Now that you can make Catalina Express’s Bloody Marys at home, all that is left is to dream of the next time you’ll be getting to Catalina.

a close up of a bottle