Two winners emerged from the best Bloody Mary competition in the third annual "Sunday, Bloody Sunday Battle" in San Francisco on September 8, 2013. A judge's selection went to Rye in the Tenderloin, while the crowd-pleaser from Joanne Weir's Copita Tequileria in Sausalito captured the people choice award.
The contest featured Bloody Mary concepts covering a wide gamut of tastes, colors, spices, and accoutrements, delivering a genuine garden-to-glass experience. The qualities of beet juice and yellow pepper juice were among those brought to the table, and pop-up tidbits included the diversity of pickled okra, smoked pineapple, even toothpick-skewered chicken tandoori with naan.
Overtures of colonial India
Bartender Jen Ackrill of Rye concocted a yellow curry-based cocktail featuring Hendrick's Gin topped with its own mini-meal on a toothpick. Smiling as she packed up her tasting stand, Jen reflected on two days spent preparing the garnish of homemade pickled cauliflower and tandoori chicken. "Of course, no one can say what makes the best Bloody Mary, since we all have preferences for thick or thin, or spicier or lighter. I am genuinely surprised and pleased, as any one of these amazing entries here today could have earned this win."
Sausalito and sailors
Hailing from Copita, Bartender Juan Carlos Mera and General Manager Brian Basmajian spent a good month preparing and perfecting their popular Bloody Mary recipe named Red-Headed Vixen. The team drew Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum as a spirit. Calling it "one of the most challenging things we've ever done," Basmajian added, "particularly because rum is not the first thing that comes to mind for a Bloody Mary." No stranger to the cocktail game, this Mexican restaurant's 'Bloody Maria' with tequila blanco is offered on the brunch menu.
Challenged by an "anything but vodka" theme, the mixologist rules required creations around gin from Hendrick's, rum from Sailor Jerry, tequila from Milagro, or whisky from Monkey Shoulder. More inspiration came from the Almanac beer garden.
Entrants included ten bartender teams representing San Francisco, North Bay, and East Bay: Beretta, Brian & Mo, Copita Tequileria, Hog & Rocks, Honor Kitchen, Hopscotch, Novela, 15 Romolo, Rye, Twenty Five Lusk.
In the mix
Rye: Hendrick's Gin, yellow curry, yellow tomato juice, yellow pepper juice, with a garnish of pickled cauliflower, tandoori chicken, naan, and a sun gold tomato.
Copita: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, housemade sangrita, fresh ginger, fresh habanero, fresh grapefruit juice, grated nutmeg, grated Allspice.