For some, it's the ingredients. For others, it's how it's presented. And for most, it boils down to taste.
"It’s a versatile drink that you can have anytime," says bartender Tony Ames.
Los Gatos' C.B. Hannegan's bartender Dennis Guenter says it's the feel in the mouth that he loves best.
"It’s a nice warming feeling, not a spank in your mouth," the 10-year bartending veteran says.
's Kelly Crowley decided enough was enough and put local bartenders to the test Saturday in the very first "Bloody Mary Off."
Various bartenders came together to try to psyche each other out, make delicious variations of the early morning cocktail and really, just have fun.
Judges at the event were from , C.B. Hannegan's and customers who were Bloody Mary lovers.
The bar quickly filled up with spectators and all eyes were on the contestants.
"The drinks were judged on looks, then on taste," Crowley says. "Then the customers voted on a 'popularity' winner."
And the winners were:
In the "Best Appearance" category, the winner was and Khartoum bartender Kelly Baldwin.
In the "Best in Taste" category, first place went to Derek Austin of . Although representing Rock Bottom, Austin also bartends at Boswell's and Khartoum and has been voted "Best Bartender in Campbell" in previous contests.
Second place went to Baldwin and third went to Los Gatos' C.B. Hannegan's bartender Dennis Guenter.
In the "Best Overall," Austin once again took home the honor.
"I like the love you have to put in it," he says of the drink. "If you don’t, the customer will know and that’s 21 years of bartending experience talking."
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