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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

LA Weekly