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Bars & Clubs

BEST BUILD-YOUR-OWN BLOODY MARY Los Angeles 2009 

La Cita

The perfect Bloody Mary is hard to come by. Best enjoyed during the day and an absolute necessity when hung over, a Bloody Mary is one of the most personalized cocktails out there. Some like it spicy, some sweet, some like it garnished with veggies, some with meat, but all require a strong vodka pour. The list of potential ingredients for this cocktail is endless so instead of trying to read the mind of every hungover, tomato juice-fiending patron, La Cita bartender Calixto Hernandez hosts a "build your own Bloody Mary" happy hour every Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m. on the outdoor patio of the divey, downtown, local favorite bar. Over a soundtrack of all '80s music ("But no U2, not now, not ever, because they suck," says Hernandez), for $5 you get a tall glass of iced vodka and free reign over a table of mixers, seasonings and homemade garnishes to concoct your perfect Bloody Mary mixed to taste. The spread includes Kelly Y Gonzalez Bloody Mary mix, celery salt, Old Bay seasoning, Tabasco, wasabi, sweet cherry peppers, pickled green beans, white asparagus, crushed garlic, horseradish, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, as well as trays of bacon, olives, cheese cubes, fresh shrimp, pickled shallots, celery stalks and more, all of which you can load up on a kabob skewer for the ultimate mixing utensil and snacker. At La Cita's Sunday Bloody Sundays, building your own Bloody Mary is like arts and crafts ... but with booze. Bottoms up, and if your drink sucks, it's your own fault. 336 S. Hill St., dwntwn. (213) 687-7111.

—Erin Broadley

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