Truth be told, the event I went to was actually called the “2nd Annual Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” But “Bloody Mary Porn Show” just sounds so much more enticing. Some of it was
good great, some bad, and some of it was ugly. All in all, the event really helped me to solidify the criteria I expect from a typical bloody, and just about how far a bartender can go until it shouldn’t even be considered a bloody mary anymore.
From worst to best, the following are nine bloody marys that you can find in the city of San Francisco. I’ve tried ‘em all, and I’m writing this post a little after the fact, so my opinions aren’t as strong. However, my opinion did end up voting for the winner of the competition! Guess this whole obsession with, and writing about bloody marys isn’t completely in vain. Onto the tasting. Let’s start with my score sheet:
9. ”The Smoke Signal” by Vincent Toscano of Rye
ingredients: skyy vodka, roasted tomato, thyme, rosemary puree, lemon juice, hakushu
Honestly I don’t remember fine details, so I’m relying on the fact that my scorecard reads, “NOT DRINKABLE” “DISGUSTING” and “XXX.” It must have been that bad. Note: never ordering a bloody mary from Rye.
8. “Indian Summer” by Kate Bolton of Maven
ingredients: strawberry infused skyy, tomato water, honey, fresh lemon aged balsamic vinegar, chiffonade basil
Noted: “LIES.” Gotta trust that initial reaction.
7. “Sang Bleu” by Kristin Almy of Grand Cafe
ingredients: green zebra tomato juice, fine herbs infused niolly pratt dry vermouth, fresh lemon juice
This one certainly looks pretty, but I just remember it being “meh.”
6. (bottom left) “Cara Mia” by Shaher Misif of Cantina
ingredients: skyy vodka, campari, tomato juice, fresh lime juice, green olives
Noted: The garnish was pleasing, overall a little too fruity, but the campari added a nice touch.
5. (top right) “Sunday Cruz-in” by David Cruz of Starlight Room
ingredients: bacon vodka, worcestershire, heirloom tomato, lemon, horseradish, tabasco, cilantro
Sadly, this photo doesn’t document the first tasting I had of this bloody, which was previously topped with a bacon strip garnish. Despite the lack of that tasty strip of bacon, and looking similar to poop water, this one was quite delicious and hearty. This bloody concoction scored my first thumbs-up at the tasting. Double-bonus: the mixologist looked like an evil villan from a James Bond movie.
4. “Mediterranean Mary” by Carlos Splendorini of Michael Mina
ingredients: tomato water, strawberry water, yuzu juice, lemongrass syrup, smoked spicy oil
This one doesn’t look like a bloody mary at all, so I was skeptcal. However, what it lacks in color it makes up for in delight. Skim over the ingredients, and it’s most likely the tomato water, and smoked spicy oil that is making this juicy cocktail thrive.
3. “Sir Francis Bacon” by Jason Bartlett of Scala’s Bistro
ingredients: bacon and rosemary-infused vodka, olive brine, lemon, jalapeno, tomato juice, served frozen
Of what I would consider to be a classic bloody mary, this version was tops, and more. All of the ingredients made sense, the garnish was right on par, and it was a sipper (spicy!). The most ingenious part of this bloody was that the mix was prepped by freezing in ice cube trays. When added to the cocktail, the cocktail ice cubes kept the drink cold but never diluted. Delicious and genius.
2. “Bright-Eyed Filly” by Claire Sprouse of Rickhouse
ingredients: spicy pickled cherry tomatoes, lemon, honey, sparkling apple juice, sherry, smoked sea salt
Hopefully if you swing by the Rickhouse, Claire will be able to whip one of these up for ya. The ingredients were unconventional, and the result: unique, savory, and sweet.
1. “Delta Morning” by Kevin Dowell and Andrew Marks of Foreign Cinema’s Laszlo.
ingrendients: delta corn, carrot, harissa paste, fresno chilis, seasonal beans, mustard seed
I don’t know how to explain what they did here, but man was it delicious. The moment I tasted this one, I immediately knew it was what I was looking for. I guess you could explain it as “love at first taste.” That sounds kind of dirty, but so does the title of this post, so I guess the Delta Morning wins, and makes this bloody post a wrap.