The 10 Best Bloody Marys In S.F. — Gulp!

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on May 23]
Everyone has a different blood type, and we like to think that the same idea applies to Bloody Marys. So, we bellied up to the San Francisco bar scene to bring you the most standout iterations to fit every preference. Whether your poison is an inferno-inducing mix or a tamer blend, you'll want to gulp these babies down long past brunch time — hangover or not. Click through to see 10 of the best red-hot libations, and have yourself a bloody good time trying them all. The weekend's almost here...
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Photographed by Maria del Rio
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Chipotle Bloody Mary at Blackbird, $8
Want a drink that'll smoke you? Blackbird's Chipotle Bloody Mary heeds that wish by adding blended chilis straight into the mixture. The effect is more bold than spicy, and a hint of tang hits you on the way down, too. Topped off with olives and a house-made pickled carrot (not to mention the standard lemon wedge and celery), this libation will create a warming effect in the pit of your stomach. It'll keep you gulping, trust.

Blackbird, 2124 Market Street (at 14th Street); 415-503-0630.
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Bloody Mary at Zeitgeist, $8
This cult-followed favorite gives off a There's Something About Mary vibe that we just had to investigate. However, the bartenders are tight-lipped over at Zeitgeist, and refuse to give up the drink's top-secret ingredient. What's not hush-hush about it? Well, it's unbelievably tasty, for starters. And, the fact that you can toss them back on the spacious and chill back patio is pretty nice, too. Pop in on a relaxing Sunday and order up this drink that cures your hangover and the it's-almost-Monday blues.

Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia Street (at Duboce Avenue); 415-255-7505.
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Bloody Mary at Twenty Five Lusk, $12
For those who pant upon the mere mention of "hot sauce," Twenty Five Lusk has crafted a Bloody Mary just for you. Even though it comes with Sriracha sauce in the mixture, the bold flavors from the fire-roasted tomatoes overpower everything else, for a hearty libation. And, the gorgeous drink comes rimmed with bacon (!) salt, which can easily be nixed for a vegetarian-friendly option. If you want to go all out, 25 Lusk offers a garnish plate topped with everything from crawfish, crab, and prosciutto for an ultra-embellished, sophisticated cocktail.

Twenty Five Lusk, 25 Lusk Street (at Townsend Street); 415-495-5875.
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BLT Bloody Mary at Thieves Tavern, $8
Southern gents and belles will flip for Thieves Tavern's Bloody Mary. Unlike any other on the list, the weekend-only cocktail adds barbeque sauce for a smoky, zesty, and fiery infusion. The experimental bartender is always down to try new ingredients, but you can always expect the standard mixture — which includes pickle juice, Burn Baby Burn hot sauce, and horseradish. The garnishments are a lush display of red lettuce, cream cheese-smothered cherry tomatoes, and maple-candy bacon hot off the Mission Beach Café sizzler. Plus — pho and chilaquile iterations are in the works. Is it the weekend, yet?!

Thieves Tavern, 496 14th Street (at Guerrero Street); 415-252-9082.
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Persian Bloody Mary at Foreign Cinema, $11
Trust us, you won't find this exotic iteration anywhere else. Foreign Cinema serves up the original drink's Persian cousin by combining unusual ingredients like curry powder, sherry vinegar, and sugar. Suck down this foreign Bloody Mary, you'll taste the house-made tomato juice that comes layered with other striking Middle Eastern flavors. The sumac-spice rim tops it all off for a citrusy, smoky finish.

Foreign Cinema, 2543 Mission Street (at 21st Street); 415-648-7600.
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DIY Bar and Bloody Elixir at Elixir, $8 to $10
If you prefer to take matters into your own hands, we recommend crafting your very own Bloody Mary concoction at Elixir. On weekends, you'll find the DIY bar with a trio of trays filled with everything you'd ever need to brew your poison...and then some. Over 20 different hot sauces will be at your disposal (including Chipotle and Louisiana style). But, the bartender's totally original mixture is even more tempting: The "Bloody Elixir" stimulates all your tastes (from umami to sour), but it's truly the pickled brine that takes this drink over the edge.

Elixir, 3200 16th Street (at Guerrero Street); 415-552-1633.
7 of 10
Bloody Mary at Finnegan's Wake, $7
We love us a quaint, locals-only neighborhood bar, especially one that serves a standout Bloody Mary. Fitting this bill is Cole Valley's Finnegan's Wake, touting a back patio for us to sip that drink al fresco. You'll detect a hint of extra tang thanks to the splash of sweet 'n sour that balances out the spice. And, with plenty of local transportation stops outside, you won't have to think twice about ordering up another round.

Finnegan's Wake, 937 Cole Street (between Carl Street and Parnassus Avenue); 415-731-6119.
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Bloody Maru at Chaya, $12
You know that titillating sting you feel after munching down spicy sushi? Yeah, Chaya's Bloody Maru is the liquid equivalent of that. The resto made Japanese-inspired tweaks to the conventional cocktail by mixing in Asian ingredients. You'll find soju instead of vodka, soy sauce instead of Worcestershire, and wasabi in place of hot sauce. The result is a taste bud-stimulating cocktail that sets your mouth ablaze. Topped with a California roll (seriously, just look at that picture), we recommended dunking the sushi into the Bloody Maru for a hardy and fresh bite that can't be beat.

Chaya, 132 Embarcadero Drive (between Mission and Howard streets); 415-777-8688.
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Balsamic Bloody Mary at Zuni Café, $11.59
In a blind taste test, you'd immediately sense Zuni's take on the drink is unlike any other. That's because it mixes in a six-year-aged balsamic, creating a briny and slightly sweet cocktail. Despite the absence of horseradish, this drink boasts a thick consistency and comes with an onion relish that you can crunch on after each sip. Order up the drink in the evening and let the pianist serenade you.

Zuni Café, 1658 Market Street (at Gough); 415-552-2522.
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The Ultimate Bloody Mary at Waterbar, $20
While the recipe is pretty traditional, ordering up this decadent concoction comes with bonuses served outside the glass. First, the resto on the wharf offers a breathtaking view, so we highly recommend sipping the drink while peeping The Bay Lights at sunset. Not to be outdone by the sights, the Old Bay-rimmed Bloody Mary comes crowned with not one, but two pieces of crunchy bacon and juicy jumbo shrimp that make it feel more like an appetizer than just a mere cocktail.

Waterbar, 399 Embarcadero Road (between Folsom and Harrison streets); 415-284-9922.
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