Food and beverage festivals can be a great way to sample a variety of specific foods from area restaurants and specialty stores. We have gone to many different ones in the past from barbeque festivals to a bacon and beer festival. Over the weekend, we went to Denver and participated in the Bloody Mary Festival, which included 15 different types of Bloody Mary samples as well as a variety of food and other stands selling goods and handing out free samples. We always enjoy a good Bloody Mary, so we were excited to see all of the creative drinks as well as toppings that were going to be offered.
One thing that we learned relatively quickly is that sometimes people can get too creative with their ingredients. A popular ingredient seemed to be pickle juice or pickling spices, which can be fine in moderation, but these were a little over the top. Another that we tried had fish sauce in it, which we didn’t care for, but perhaps that is just our taste preference. You could get a green Bloody Mary with orange and pineapple or one that was made with beer. It was good that almost every stand had a list of ingredients so that you knew what you were about to drink before giving it a taste.
In the end, when it came time for us to vote, we ended up selecting a more traditional style of Bloody Mary. Our favorites were from the Highland Tavern and Tupelo Honey. We like ours a little spicy, but found the more exotic recipes to be a little too much for us. Although you could drink as much as you like, we just took a few sips of each one, just enough to get a true sense of the flavor. After a while, even if you like a good Bloody Mary, the acid from the tomatoes can start to get to you. We will continue to keep our eyes open for any upcoming festivals that seem unique and interesting.