The following is a guest blog post from Sam Parador, a fellow Bloody Mary aficionado who attended Santa Monica’s Bloody Mary Battle over the weekend. 
Santa Monica, California, is known for its beautiful blue skies, ocean views, the ferris wheel on the pier, and lazy days laying on the beach. But, now there is a new activity to add to the list when you visit: drink some Bloody Marys!

Last Sunday, five neighboring restaurants located on the picturesque Ocean Ave. set out to compete for the title of
“Best Bloody Mary.” Hosted by Del Frisco’s Grille, and sponsored by Tito’s Vodka and Bloody Gerry, each restaurant sent their best bartender to throw down their most delicious, and creative take on this traditional cocktail.
The competitors were Joseph Matlock from Locado Del Lago, Christiana Gifford from Blue Plate Taco, Danny Matlock from The Lobster, Steve Triosi from Del Frisco’s Grille and Adam George from Areal Restaurant.
“It’s about bringing the community together more then an actual competition,” said Adam of Areal Restaurant “It’s also about bragging rights.”

The winner of the throw down would receive a cash prize which they would get to decided which charity to donate it to.

“Drinking Bloody’s and raising money for charity? It doesn’t get any better then this!” said the emcee of the event Tyler Herdklotz.

Cheers!

Cheers!

The gameplay was simple. Purchase a ticket for $25 and receive a flight of five bloodies from each bartender’s personal mix set on top of a coaster listed A through E. Simply drop the coasters of your top three bloodies into the first, second, or third place boxes. The votes were then later counted and a victor would be announced. With over 300  Angelenos in attendance this throw down was an amazing spectacle to be seen– and tasted.
Of course it’s not always just about the mix is it? On display were some of the most impressive garnishes to be placed on top of a bloody mary cocktail. Joseph  Matlock of Lago had served his with a deep fried sardine, when the crowd shouted, “Who’s going to eat the head?”  Guest judge Jeff Miller of the thrilllist.com stepped up to the plate and bit the head right off. “How does it taste?” asked emcee Tyler. “Salty and delicious” was Jeff’s response.

Sardines!

Sardines!

The next most favored garnish was a slider served up by Steve Triosi from Del Frisco’s. “Now that’s a meal in a glass!” exclaimed guest judge, celebrity DJ Casey Conner. Another crowd-pleaser was Adam’s of Areal restaurant which served a refreshing garnish of heirloom tomato and mozzarella cheese to complement his freshly juiced heirloom tomato mix.

Adam from Areal Restaurant.

Adam from Areal Restaurant, with his refreshing garnish.

When the voting boxes were closed there was much discussion as to who the winner was going to be. “E is the winner for me,” said Gerry Becerril president and founder of Bloody Gerry, a premium tomato mix company. “I don’t know which bartender is E, but it is my kind of palette. Bold pepper flavor, the right amount of worcestershire, and the right blend of horseradish.”

 

The bartenders eagerly talked with each other discussing who they thought was going to take the bragging rights and the check. Christiana of Blue Plate Taco felt confident, “I know our blend with the roasted peppers, spices and flavors is a bloody mix that’s hard to compete against.”

Cristiana from Blue Plate Tacos

Cristiana from Blue Plate Tacos

When the time came to announce the winners the bartenders lined up, and the crowd starting chanting out their favorite restaurant to win. The winner of the day turned out to be Joseph Matlock from Lago, who received a combined check for a little over $3000 for his charity of choosing. Second place went to Steve Triosi from Del
Frisco’s Grille, who received a gift basket of Bloody Gerry and Tito’s vodka, “I can’t believe I got beat in my own house!” laughed Steve. Third place went to Adam of Areal.

First place!

First place!

Second place--a  Bloody Gerry Gift Basket

Second place–a Bloody Gerry Gift Basket

So, if you find yourself in Santa Monica this summer, be sure to head to Locado Del Lago, and taste this summer’s winning Bloody Mary.

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