When Shelley Buchanan orders a drink in Seattle, she's also conducting field research.

The former corporate lawyer now works full-time as a Bloody Mary expert, under the name The Drunken Tomato.

"You get this job by drinking a whole lot of Bloody Marys,” she said, laughing. "You kind of judge them on their appearance, what they taste like, take notes on the flavor profile."

She didn't set out to become an expert in brunch booze. During her law career, she traveled extensively and tried Bloody Marys around the country.

When she started blogging about them, people responded.

Eventually, she quit her 9-to-5 job and became a full-time connoisseur of cocktails.

"Definitely very scary, for sure. But it was a passion of mine and it made me happy. And what I was doing previously wasn't making me happy,” Buchanan said.

She has published three books featuring the best drinks in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco. She also travels to judge Bloody Marys at festivals around the country.

Her favorite spots in Seattle include Jude's Old Town in Rainier Beach, Lottie's Lounge in Columbia City, Percy’s and Co. in Ballard, Sam’s Tavern and Fresh Bistro in West Seattle.

"My job did not exist before I came up with it in my mind,” she said. “I created this career out of loving Bloody Marys. I can't even believe it myself.”

You can follow Buchanan on Twitter and Facebook. She was the 2016 Best of Western Washington winner for “Best Twitter Personality.”

Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with Evening via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email: eveningtips@king5.com.