Sunday Bloody Sunday…yep, that about sums up yesterday’s event at Smitty McGee’s. Smitty’s was the proud host of the Ocean 98.1 9th Annual Bloody Mary Contest this past Sunday, inviting the masses into their establishment for three hours of Bloody Mary tastings. Needless to say, the crowd was massive and with upwards of 20 competitors, things heated up quickly.

Every year Ocean 98 puts on their Bloody Mary contest, prompting area restaurants to present their finest concoctions of spices, vodka and tomato juice…and lets not forget the garnishes, which in some cases could count for a small meal. We weren’t complaining of course, except for the fact that we couldn’t possibly taste every sample and live to tell the tale (this job really is a brutal one sometimes). We sampled as many as we could muster, getting slowed down once or twice by the spice-monsters being served up by the likes of Papa Grande’s and Matteo’s. But back to the garnishes….bacon wrapped jalepeno poppers, piles of lump crab meat, bacon stacked on bacon stacked on more bacon, jerk chicken, and deep-fried blue cheese and bacon balls were just a few of the stand out garnishes we saw (and devoured).

All of the contenders used Seacrets distilled vodka. Beyond that, creativity was untethered, and it showed, as no two Bloody Mary’s tasted the same. Prizes were awarded for Best Overall, Spiciest, and Most Creative. The event cost $10 (for taste testers), which will go towards the Ocean 98 ‘Cash for College’ Fund. As the defending champ, Smitty McGee’s had the honor of hosting the event, although starting next year the contest will be held at Seacrets annually.

Entertainment was provided by Swamp Candy. This was our first time hearing this uber-talented duo and we were immediately impressed. Hope to hear these guys again soon!

And the winners (drum roll please):

Spiciest: Matteo’s Salsa Loco

Most Creative: The Starboard Restaurant

Best Overall: Fish Tales