When the work week is going bad, there's one thing that can keep us going to the weekend: the promise of a bloody mary.
There's something about this savory beverage that just says "weekend." Maybe its the claim that the cocktail' is a surefire cure for hangovers (with its mixture of salt and spirits, there's method behind that madness, although it probably only delays the headache that's bound to come). Or maybe it's the fact that a good bloody is as much a meal as it is a cocktail.
Though there are conflicting stories about the origin of this particular drink, the most popular one ties it to New York's famed 21 Club, where a drink mixing tomato juice and vodka was all the rage in the 1930s.
Though a basic bloody starts with tomato juice, vodka, and spices, the drink is a veritable clean slate in which a good bartender can really make his or her mark. From a classic bloody mary seasoned with Worcestershire sauce and garnished with celery to an all-out feast in a glass topped with bacon, shrimp, and pickled okra, the bloody mary is probably customized more than any other cocktail around.
So which is the absolute (or in this case, Absolut) best bloody mary in Miami? That's what the United States Bartenders' Guild wants to find out in its USBG and Absolut Bloody Sunday competition.
Bartenders wishing to compete must first submit your original bloody mary recipe by Sunday, September 5, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recipe must include a unique use of Absolut original, Citron, Mandarin, or Peppar vodka. You must also detail the ingredients and portions/ratios in the recipe, as well as the garnish. The recipe must also include photos of the drink. The competition is open to all industry professionals, regardless of whether they are members of the USBG.
Seven contestants will be selected to compete at the Broken Shaker on Sunday, September 14. The overall winner of the competition will win $1,000 and will represent Miami in the Absolut National Bloody Mary contest to compete for a place in the finals, which will be held in New York City. The second place winner will receive $500, with the third place bartender receiving $100.
Will a classic, refined version of the breakfast beverage win the hearts of the judges? Or will the winner be a mega-tower of extremes in a bloody spiced with exotic hot sauces, decorated with Slim Jims, lobster claws, and edible flowers?
The bloody is in the eyes (and the belly) of the beholder.