Food & Drink

Bloody Mary mixologists square off Saturday in North Myrtle Beach competition

If you prefer to imbibe before noon, the Bloody Mary is the most socially acceptable cocktail next to the mimosa. The recipes are as particular and controversial in the South as they are in the world of competitive barbeque. In fact, the recipes are particular all over the world.

The history of the drink is not iron clad. Both New York and Paris claim to have created the mix of vodka, tomato juice and various other ingredients and spices before anyone else. The dates also vary from 1921 to the mid 1930s as far as when it became a preferred mixture. Most, present company included, are not overly concerned with where they began so much as how fast we can get the first one down.

The Bloody Mary has been known to be the “hair of the dog” cure that has its own disguise at the breakfast table. It is the cornerstone of any good bar. If the bartender makes a good Bloody Mary, it is probably a worthwhile watering hole. Plus, you can not drink all day if you do not start in the morning. This cocktail makes that a real possibility if you are so inclined.

As drink trends fluctuate in Myrtle Beach, this morning cocktail has invaded the evening hours. Bloody Mary’s are not, solely, a brunch item any longer. The recipes have gotten more elaborate and, some come with nothing shy of a buffet as a garnish. Everything from shrimp to okra to straws made of beef have joined the party in a glass.

Given this type of cocktail that has so many opinions about which is the best, it begs for a contest to prove who has the mixture that reigns supreme. We love a good drinking contest around here. Well, we love a contest that has drinks.

Answering such a call is The Deck at House of Blues at Barefoot Landing (4640 U.S. 17 S., North Myrtle Beach). The Deck is hosting the Endless Summer Bloody Mary Competition and Festival from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, putting some of the best recipes and some of the best people on the Grand Strand against each other and allowing the general public to vote on their favorite. No panel of appointed opinions at this one. The people shall decide who reigns supreme.

There is no admission charge, but it will be $10 if you would like to sample the drinks. Certainly, the organizers would enjoy giving away the samples, but there are laws that must be following and you just can not do that in South Carolina.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka will make these mixtures extra tasty. One of the highest-rated vodkas in the world and some local mixology talent taking a classic recipe to the extreme sounds like a great evening to me.

As we like to do around here, we couple good cocktail events with good causes. The Surfrider Foundation of the Grand Strand, which hosted a resoundingly successful inaugural Oyster Roast and Bloody Mary Contest back in February at K-Rae’s at Wacca Wache Marina, will also be on hand to spread the word of keeping our beaches in top shape through the summer and beyond. This organization throws some of the best fundraisers in Myrtle Beach and never fails in the music department. Whiskey Kiss will the band on the stage Saturday giving the competition a little more pulse than the spicy concoctions in the glasses.

You think you have what it takes? According to the Facebook page for the event, you do not have to be affiliated with a bar, a restaurant or a resident of Myrtle Beach to enter. There is a $25 entry fee for your chance to claim the title. If you think you have a great recipe or just want to see where you stack up, you can be a part of the action by calling HOB at 272-3000.

Things are heating up this summer. We have not even gotten half way through and the events have been monumental thus far. The Endless Summer Bloody Mary Competition and Festival may soon join the ranks.