Bloody Mary at Telluride MountainFilm Festival
38th Annual Festival
Bar: Floradora Saloon
Bartender: Joe
Price: $7.50

1 part exhaustion
1 part confusion
1 part Bloody Mary virgin
4 parts friends
Serve over ice. Garnish with deliciousness.

I've been on a hunt for the perfect Bloody Mary for over six years. A newly found cocktail for my 22 year old self, I was hooked. Originally, it was all a joke. I would find the best Bloody Mary and share it with the world! (or just my close friends and family, we shall see.)

Bars in some of the small towns I've lived in will ask if you want a Bloody Mary or a Bloody Melissa, the latter garnished with a pickle, olive and Slim Jim, served with a Bud Light/Genesee/PBR chaser. I've taught four bartenders how to make a Bloody Melissa, the mix has become a combination of my favorite flavors from the hundreds of bloodies I've encountered.

I've started writing down the recipes, atmosphere and location of the bars I've visited. Some swanky New York City bars that serves an overly priced tomato juice with booze and some from a gem of a bar that you wouldn't even know existed if a friend in town didn't tell you.

I drive a lot. I've lived out of my car for a year out of the last five years. There are nine states I have yet to drink a Bloody Mary in. Google searches whenever I start driving to a new place - Step one Best Bloody Mary in town/county/state. Step two Dog Friendly Bars.

One day I will map it out, write a book and start to understand regional nuances based on the most perfect of all cocktails. Whether its mixed with a stout (Ohio), Sunny D (Minnesota), served with pickled okra (Louisiana), or perfectly paired with an oyster (Alabama), this drink starts to tell a story of the people in a specific place.