Tuesday Tip - An Interview With: The Drunken Tomato

I like cocktails. I'm not a beer girl, and very picky about my wine.  Throw some liquids in a glass with a swizzle stick and fruit, and I'm there. Strangely enough, I've never been a big Bloody Mary fan, but my husband is obsessed with them.  If they have it, he will drink them.

Last year, I had a huge response when I created my How To Create A Bloody Mary Bar post and with all the fabulous ways you can trick them out, how have I not been into them sooner?

Meet Shelley Buchanan, author of The Drunken Tomato book series and the founder of  The Drunken Tomato

Which brings us to today's Tuesday Tip; yesterday I shared a Party Palette inspired by a Bloody Mary and now we are meeting the Queen Of Bloody Marys (not Bloody Mary, Queen of Scots) and new Seattle native, Shelley Buchanan, author of The Drunken Tomato book series and the founder of  The Drunken Tomato, a blog that creates and curates Bloody Mary related content from around the world.  That's right...her job is to drink...I mean, research!

We've had the pleasure of crossing paths at other local events and of course, I jumped at the chance to attend her newest book launch!  Read on and find out what it takes to know everything there is about...well, Bloody Marys! All images courtesy of The Drunken Tomato, unless otherwise noted.

The Drunken Tomato; gin and vodka for your Bloody Mary

Please tell our readers about who Shelley is.
This is by far the most difficult question! I enjoy short walks on the beach and long nights of garage drinking, seeking freedom and truth, embracing the struggle, finding passion and being passionate about my journey, and of course, well garnished Bloody Marys. If you want to know more, you’ll have to buy me a drink first.

The  Bloody Mary is a meal in a glass!

How did 'Become a Bloody Mary aficionado' get on your to-do list?
My passion for Bloody Marys grew out of traveling. After spending countless hours drinking Bloody Marys in airports and airplanes, I started my website, The Drunken Tomato, to review the best, and worst Bloody Marys that I encountered on my travels. It started as a fun hobby that eventually became my full time gig.

Courtesy Of Percy's & Co's Instagram feed
You have had the pleasure of traveling the country, attending various restaurants, food and cocktail festivals; if you can narrow it down, which are your top 3 favorite Bloody Marys and why?

My favorite Bloody Marys change all the time, but today, I’ll go with these...
  1. Todd English P.U.B. in Las Vegas. Not only do they offer a huge $35 “All About Mary” with basically every garnish you can imagine, but they also offer a build-your-own Bloody Mary form where people can customize their Bloody Marys with everything from infused vodkas and garnishes to different mixes and rim salts. 
  2. La Cita in Downtown Los Angeles. This is the kind of place that only those in know will go to. On Sundays only, if you walk through this authentic Latin dance club, you’ll emerge onto a bright, sky-scraper enclosed patio in downtown LA. For just $6, you’ll get a tall glass of vodka and a trip to the fully stocked build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. 
  3. Percy's & Co.. With the recent launch of The Drunken Tomato: Seattle, I’ve got a lot of Seattle Bloody Marys on my mind. Percy’s offers up four different savory brunch cocktails, each made with herb infused liquors, fresh juices, a bright tomato blend and an elegant garnish. 
Bagels + Bloody Marys party

I was so excited to attend your Bagels + Bloody Marys Book Launch Party (so genius and I'm stealing this idea) for your second book, The Drunken Tomato: Seattle. What inspired you to write the book, beside the work that goes into drinking every Bloody Mary in the area?
I am always in search of the absolute best bloody mary I can find. I wrote my first book, The Drunken Tomato: Los Angeles and Orange County, last year while I was living in Long Beach, CA. When I moved to Seattle, writing a Bloody Marys guide for my new city was the next logical step. I enjoy discovering the unique quirks that each part of the country has to offer, and I quickly settled into my “research,” sometimes going to ten or more brunch spots in one weekend.

Bagels + Bloody Marys party

What are your must-haves to making the perfect Bloody Mary?
The most important part of any Bloody Mary is balance. If the ingredients don’t go well together, you won’t have a good Bloody Mary. But after that, it’s really whatever you can imagine. From BBQ sauce, sriracha and pickle juice to wasabi, olive brine and orange juice, the possibilities are endless. Just make sure that no one ingredient outshines the others.

Bloody Mary bar

I love drink garnishes...if there is only one garnish your Bloody Mary has to have, what would it be? Celery. It’s classic, you can mix your drink with it, and it adds that little bit of freshness that offsets these deeply savory drinks.


I love to ask everyone I interview: if you are stranded on a desert island and can take one item and one meal, what would they be? My stuffed hippo, Humphrey. And a very, very well garnished Bloody Mary.

Is your mouth watering yet?? Of course it is! Thanks for stopping by Shelley!

Be sure and join us on Thursday for a few things to help you make a perfect Bloody Mary and then some!




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