II Charlies 9th Annual Bloody Mary Competition

On Sunday October 16, seventeen bars went head to head in II Charlie’s 9th annual Bloody Mary competition. The teams were spread out from the first floor to the second floor and even spilling out onto the patio. Over 250 people came out to get a taste of what each group had to offer, and no one left disappointed. 

This year each crew took their Mary to another level, kicking the creativity up a notch with everything from the way they prepared their brew to the garnishes that went on as the finishing touch. Another component on which each team was judged was presentation. The booths were decorated by the participants in hopes of drawing the attention of passersby and of course, outdoing the other bars. All attendees paid a $5 cover charge that would allow them to sample each Bloody Mary and then cast their vote on who had the best presentation and best cocktail. 

The level of competition was evident when you see bars like Game Changers adding a mole sauce aged for 30 days to their Bloody Mary, and Mulberry St Cantina using all fresh juices and Roma tomatoes. Hickory Street Lounge incorporated homemade pickles and all organic ingredients while Paschall Bar created a “Bloody Buffalo” with buffalo sauce and beef jerky garnish. It could easily be described as one of the most competitive years yet. 

In the end, Harvest House took first place in the judge’s vote with their roasted pepper Bloody Mary with house-made horseradish, roasted garlic, sweet onion, and fresh juices. Barley & Board took second place for best presentation with their rustic southwestern décor, and East Side took second in the Fan Favorite vote with their homegrown ghost and Thai pepper Bloody Mary. Overall it was Tex Tapas that came in like a dark horse and swept the competition with first place in presentation, first place in the Fan Favorite vote and second place judges vote with their smoky ghost pepper Bloody Mary complete with a pimento cheese stuffed olive. All participants represented the bars well in what can be considered a successful day of friendly competition. 

Stop in for a $3 Bloody Mary at II Charlie’s every Sunday where it’s Happy Hour all day and a free taco bar during games. 


Photos by Brian Doore
Header image design by Sara Button