The best Bloody Mary recipe you can mix up

The best Bloody Mary recipe you can mix up

The best Bloody Mary recipe you can mix up
nutritional information (per serving)

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nutritional information
Servings: 1
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 0g1 %
348 mg15%
dietary fiber 20g70%
Total sugar 20g
Vitamin C 423 mg2.115%
Calcium 197 mg15%
iron 5 mg25%
Potassium 1209 mg26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Bloody Mary is an icon in the cocktail world. Created in the 1920s, this vodka-infused tomato cocktail became a popular brunch drink and became known as a hangover cure. It's also great on a chilly day, and it is The Drink to enjoy on New Year's Day, which also happens to be National Bloody Mary Day.

Who created the Bloody Mary?

The popular story of the creation of the Bloody Mary pays tribute to bartender Fernand “Pete” Petiot at Harry's New York Bar in Paris around 1924. Petiot brought it to the US after Prohibition was repealed in the 1930's when he was employed at the St. Regis Hotel in NYC. For a number of years it was called “red snapper” (not to be confused with the cranberry whiskey shot), especially when made with gin instead of vodka.

What ingredients does a Bloody Mary contain?

The quick-to-make Bloody Mary is an easy drink once you break it down: a shot of vodka over ice, topped with tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot sauces, and a few common kitchen condiments like celery salt and black pepper.

The secret ingredients for the best Bloody Mary

The two secrets to a spectacular Bloody Mary are ice and lemon juice. Tomato juice is thick and best diluted, so fill your glass to the brim with ice cubes and mix the drink well to brighten it up. The lemon juice combines vodka and tomato juice. It works better than lime juice because lime juice has additional flavor notes that can distract from the tomato. Fresh lemon juice is highly recommended as bottled lemon juice can have a dull taste.

How to personalize your Bloody Mary

Use this basic Bloody Mary recipe as a starting point, then get creative. Make it extra spicy, swap out the alcohol, or enjoy it with the edible side dishes. You can even make a pink Bloody Mary with turnips. It's also easy to make up a pitcher of the Bloody Mary mix and keep it in the fridge to entertain, engage, or grab a quick drink, and you can skip the alcohol altogether for a Virgin Mary.

Tips for making your best Bloody Mary

  • Bloody Mary is such a heavily flavored drink that the choice of vodka is not critical. However, you'll get a better tasting Bloody Mary with mid-range or budget brand vodka that you'd like to drink neat. Preserve the premium vodka for martinis and other transparent cocktails.
  • If you're using store-bought tomato juice, read the label. Choose a juice without unnecessary additives or sodium and avoid canned tomato juice as they tend to be of lower quality. Good tomato juice comes in a bottle with a tight seal.
  • Try the Bloody Mary with fresh tomato juice. If you have an electric juicer, pass a few ripe tomatoes through. Or prepare tomato juice in a blender: puree ripe tomatoes and then pour them through a sieve or a fine-mesh sieve, removing the skin and seeds.
  • Use a good hot sauce; The spiciness of the drink depends on the type and amount you use. Tabasco and cholula are favorites, but experiment with different brands, intensities, and flavors. As with any flavorful cocktail, start with less and add more as per taste.
  • A great Bloody Mary needs some good side dishes to nibble on while drinking. Use the classic celery stick (it doubles as a stir stick) or add a cucumber to add more flavor to the tomato juice. Use the lemon wedge to squeeze a little more juice into the drink if needed, or rub it on the rim of the glass to stimulate your taste buds before each drink. Skewer slices of hot or sweet peppers, green olives, cocktail onions, diced cheese or cooked shrimp and place on the rim. Crispy bacon is a popular option, and a sprig of fresh basil or parsley, or even a whole spring onion, is a nice touch.

Click play to see this Bloody Mary recipe put together

“Powered by tomato juice, this cocktail offers endless variations and trust this recipe to be a perfect starting point for understanding this ‘hangover cure'. Play and tweak everything in this cocktail to understand your own palate, but know for sure that a Bloody Mary will be different everywhere you order it.” – Sean Johnson

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 3 ounces tomato juicebought or homemade

  • 1/2 ounce Freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 hyphen Worcester sauce

  • 1 hyphen hot sauceor to taste

  • 1 prize celery salt

  • 1 prize fresh ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradishor to taste, optional

  • lemon wedgefor garnish

  • celery stalkor a pickle skewer for garnish

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The spruce eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Pour vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.

    The spruce eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the hot sauce, celery salt, black pepper, and horseradish (if using).

    The spruce eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Stir well or try to roll the drink. Taste and season to taste.

    The spruce eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Garnish with a lemon slice, celery stick and/or cucumber. Serve and enjoy.

    The spruce eats / Julia Hartbeck

Big batch bloody mary mix

Whether you're serving guests or just want a pitcher in the fridge for a quick drink, the recipe is easy to expand. The make-ahead bloody mary works best when you have the vodka in hand, as this gives you the option to pour another shot (e.g. tequila or mezcal) or enjoy a soft drink.

  • For a Bloody Mary pitcher that serves eight drinks, combine four cups (32 ounces) tomato juice, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, black pepper, and about two teaspoons horseradish (optional) in a pitcher. Stir well, taste and season with the seasonings and refrigerate for up to a week.
  • To serve, pour 1 1/2 ounces of vodka into an ice-filled glass and add the bloody mary mixture.
  • To fill the entire pitcher, add two cups of vodka.

How strong is a Bloody Mary?

Unless you pour the vodka over it, the Bloody Mary is a relatively mild mixed drink. Its alcohol content should be around 10 percent vol. (20 proof), i.e. at about the level of a light wine.

recipe variations

  • A very popular variant is the Bloody Caesar, which uses clamato instead of tomato juice.
  • Line the glass with a mixture of equal parts celery salt and kosher salt. Spice up the salt mixture with a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can also rim the glass with Tajín for added flavor.
  • Other liquors add an extra layer of flavor; Gin, tequila, and Canadian whiskey are great options.
  • Add other spices to create a custom Bloody Mary blend. For example, use garlic salt instead of celery salt, or add a pinch of smoked paprika powder, ground ginger, or dry chopped onion.
  • To make red beer, use the bloody mary mix instead of tomato juice.
  • For a unique drink, ditch vodka with tomatoes and enjoy this tomojito recipe with mashed cherry tomatoes, simple basil syrup, and soda. Other hearty vodka infusions (e.g. chili peppers, garlic and herbs) also go well with a Bloody Mary.

What is the difference between a Bloody Mary and a Bloody Maria?

The Bloody Maria is one of the most popular modern interpretations of the Bloody Mary. It's quite simply the same tomato-based drink, but a shot of tequila replaces the vodka for an intriguing base. Try it with mezcal too; The smokiness of the liqueur harmonizes perfectly with the tomato. You can also experiment with Mexican hot sauces (Valentina is a favorite) and even use a roasted and mashed tomatillo base instead of tomato juice.

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