Restaurants, bars compete for ‘Best Bloody Mary’ title

(April 24, 2015) Local restaurants and bars will be competing for trophies, bragging rights and the title of “Best Bloody Mary” in town Sunday, April 26, at Smitty McGee’s on Route 54 in Fenwick Island, Del.

Ocean 98 WOCM Irie Radio is sponsoring the ninth annual contest which kicks off at noon and will feature 20 of the best Bloody Mary’s bar and restaurant representatives can whip up.

Attendees must be 21 or older. The cost is $10 to sip, sample, judge and ultimately decide who has the best Bloody Mary in Ocean City.

“Listeners should show up early as this is one of our most popular events and it will be a full house,” said Josh Norwood “DJ Wood,” Ocean 98’s promotions director. “The event brings tradition, competition, camaraderie and it’s really fun.”

Drinks will be judged in three categories: Best Overall Bloody Mary, Spiciest Bloody Mary and Most Creative. The winners will take home trophies.

Swampcandy will be back this year to provide musical entertainment during the competition.

Last year, more than 500 people attended the popular contest and voted Fish Tales’ “Crabby Mary” the top honor of “Best Bloody Mary” for the fifth consecutive year. The Bloody Mary is topped with smoked jumbo lump crabmeat and garnished with celery.

Manager Brandon Hemp recalls the first time Fish Tales entered the contest five years ago when Starboard was dominating the competition.

“We wanted to bring it [the Best Bloody Mary title] back to Ocean City and luckily we were able to win then and every year since with the support of our clientele,” Hemp said. “Why change what works? That’s what we are shooting for, we want best overall and hopefully we can do it again this year.”

The five-time defending champion and its foe from long ago, Starboard, will have a variety of local competition this year including the host, Smitty McGee’s, Seacrets, Sunset Grille, Macky’s, Fager’s Island and newcomer, Bourbon Street on the Beach.

Bourbon Street’s “Ragin’ Cajun’ Bloody Mary” is spicy with a kabob full of cheeses, olives, celery and peppers, said Bourbon Street on the Beach owner Barry Reichart.

He decided to enter the contest after hearing people say the restaurant’s concoction could win.

“Hopefully we can pick up a category, but were definitely going to try for spiciest,” he said.

The $10 collected at the door goes to the Ocean 98 Cash for College Fund, which provides money for three high school seniors in Worcester, Wicomico and Sussex County, Del. pursuing a career in broadcasting, Norwood said.

Also, there will be a 50/50 raffle with proceeds benefiting the fund.

Each year, a different restaurant or bar hosts Ocean 98’s “Best Bloody Mary” contest.

“With the growth of the event and Seacrets’ Spirits Vodka as the official base for the Bloody Mary’s, it has already been decided to be held at Seacrets in 2016,” Norwood said.

In the past, the winner of “Best Bloody Mary” or a random drawing determined where the event would be held. It took place at Fager’s Island on 60th Street in 2014.

The event at Smitty McGee’s will be a full house as 20 businesses have signed up. Attendees can sample Bloody Mary’s from 12-3 p.m.

Visit www.ocean98.com/best-bloody-mary for more information.

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