Celebrate the Beloved Brunch Cocktail at the Bloody Mary Festival

There are many renditions of this popular brunch concoctions, and you can try more than a few interpretations from some of the best local bars and restaurants when the Bloody Mary Festival lands in town on November 2-3. This traveling festival started in 2017 in New York City and now happens in other cities around the country throughout the year. Since its inception, it has been popping up in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, and Austin, among others. The fest is the largest event of its kind in the country and is all about the beloved cocktail and how many interpretations, both classic and offbeat, one can come up with.

A Bloody Mary is as ubiquitous as it is versatile. It’s also more than the sum of its parts of tomato juice, vodka and spices. There are many, many ways to mix and dress up a Bloody Mary, and the local mixologists will bring their best game to The Howlin’ Wolf (907 South Peters St.) on both days, from noon to 4:30 p.m. You can try both the classic and customized creations from a handful of the popular local bars and restaurants, including The Maison, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, Oceana Grill, The Roosevelt Hotel, Ruby Slipper Cafe, and others. Expect different takes on the juice, herb-infused spirits, unusual garnishes, and other unconventional touches that go way beyond a celery stick.

Bartenders from each participating bar or restaurant will present one version of the Bloody Mary from that establishment’s menu. All will compete for the “People’s Choice” award determined by the attendees, plus a panel of the industry expert judges will sample their way through the offerings and name one lucky winner the “Best Bloody Mary in New Orleans.”

While the local Bloody Mary aficionados battle it out with their innovative mixes and an abundance of toppings, the point for the guests is to sample and sample some more. Besides the brunch staple, there will be food and drink samples from Aunt Sally’s Pralines, Cypress Grove, Congregation Coffee Roasters, Big Easy Bucha, Pickled Nola LLC, and other local companies.

Each day will consist of two sessions: from noon to 2 p.m. and then 2:30-4:30 p.m. The $45 admission covers one session with unlimited tasting. The event is 21 and up to enter, and the organizers warn that it usually sells out. You can get the updates for the Bloody Mary Festival in New Orleans on the event’s website and Facebook page.

There are many good reasons to visit New Orleans in the fall. We ramp it up every year for Halloween, and celebrate every food and drink imaginable with gusto. To enjoy the best of the city’s packed November festival schedule, consider booking one of the boutique hotels in the French Quarter or the Arts District. These historic neighborhoods are ideally situated within walking distance or a short ride to this festival and other exciting events happening in the Crescent City this fall. Book a room at FrenchQuarter.com/hotels to have the best of the Crescent City at your fingertips.