Newcomer to Bloody Mary Showdown crowned the top winner

Who Makes Dayton’s Best Bloody Mary?

If you ask the crowd that gathered on Jan. 27 at the Mandalay Banquet Center for this year's Bloody Mary Showdown, they seemed to have one answer overall: TJ Chumps. 

Nearly 20 local bartenders and restaurants signed up to compete to see who serves up the Best Bloody Marys in Dayton.

This year featured 19 competing bartenders as well as retired champ Scott Conrad offering up samples of his winning drink from last year.

Participating restaurants were: Archer's Tavern; Bargo’s Grill and Tap; Brixx Ice Company; Calypso Grill and Smokehouse; Dewberry 1850; Fifth Street Brewpub; Jimmie’s Ladder 11; Meadowlark Restaurant; Miami Valley Gaming; Milanos; Mutt's Sauce, LCC; Papi Joe's Tennessee Pepper Sauce Company; The Barrel in Springboro; TJ Chumps; Troll Pub; Trolley Stop; Tuty’s Bar & Grill; Wheat Penny.

Attendees voted on their favorite Bloody Mary creations and the votes are in ...

Best Table Decor: TJ Chumps

Best Garnish: TJ Chumps

3rd Place Best Bloody Mary: The Bloody Derby made with Old Forester created by Brook Paxon of The Troll Pub

2nd Place Best Bloody Mary: Papi's Sassy Bloody Mary Mix by Vicki Wedworth of Papi Joe's Tennessee Pepper Sauce Company

2019 Best Bloody Mary: Berzelsass's Best Bloody created by Jenn Elsass from TJ Chumps in Miamisburg.

TJ Chumps participated for the first time this year, and clearly the first time was the charm with Elsass and her team who managed to capture all of the top awards.

Their Bloody Mary, served with a shot of beer back, a delicious bacon deviled egg and a traditional Bloody Mary garnished with a large shrimp drew a massive interest from the beginning of the event with people standing in a long line throughout to see what the buzz was about. It deserved the attention.

Conrad, who took home top prize the last two years on behalf of The Vue, was sampling his RAD's Bloody Mary mix at the event. Cutwater Spirits was also on hand sampling their products.

Garnishes were as wide ranging as the flavors of the cocktails.

Based on what we saw, Dayton has plenty of creative juice when it comes to making a twist on these classic cocktails.

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