Discover the perfect balance of zing, spice, and flavor with this classic Bloody Mary cocktail
What’s not to love about a drink that is reputedly named after Queen Mary I of England—known in history as Bloody Mary for burning nearly 300 religious dissenters at the stake. But that was a long time ago (in the 1500s), and we can’t blame a delicious drink for the murderous rage of a long-gone monarch.
Of course, the queen was too busy wreaking havoc to concoct a cocktail, which left the responsibility to others. One of those who rose to the occasion is George Jessel, who claims to have invented it in Palm Beach in 1927. Another theory credits Fernand “Pete” Petiot, who created a basic version of the Bloody Mary in the 1920s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, where, incidentally, the Sidecar was invented. Pete then brought the drink to New York City, where he refined it at the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel. That it looked like an innocuous glass of tomato juice probably added to its popularity during Prohibition.
You can certainly drink a Bloody Mary any time of the day, but if you’re hosting a brunch, it’s a nice companion to a bubbly Mimosa. It’s also one of the classic cocktails, right up there with an Old Fashioned and a Martini. No matter when you imbibe, be ready for the bold mix of flavors.
Can A Bloody Mary Really Cure a Hangover?
Besides being a wonderful way to usher in the weekend during a luxurious brunch, the Bloody Mary has helped me usher out a hangover on more than a few occasions. Maybe it’s a placebo effect or maybe the vegetables help settle my stomach and the salt replenishes the electrolytes, but this concoction lives up to its reputation as a “hair of the dog” drink.
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 3 oz tomato juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 dashes hot sauce more if you prefer it spicy!
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- lemon slice
- celery stalk for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, pour vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Fill the shaker with ice cubes, close it tightly, and shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to blend all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.
- Garnish with a lemon slice and celery stalk before serving.
Tips & Tricks for a Perfect Bloody Mary
- Chill all of your ingredients before preparing the drink.
- Be creative with your garnishes: traditional ones include a celery stalk and lemon slice, but some people add pickles, olives, or even bacon or shrimp.
- Don’t be afraid to add extra heat to your Bloody Mary with some hot sauce, a bit of horseradish, or even a slice of jalapeño pepper.
- Shaking is the best method to properly mix all the ingredients together.
A highball glass is the most common choice. I’ve already gone over garnishes in the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section but here’s a little tip I saved for the FAQs: a dash of Old Bay seasoning will make you feel like you’re sipping a Bloody Mary for the first time all over again.
This delicious cocktail is around 141 calories, so you can sip on this guilt-free.
Making a pitcher of Bloody Marys ahead of time is not only allowed but also improves the taste. Up to a day before serving, mix all the ingredients (except the ice and garnishes) and then store in the fridge. When it’s time to drink, give the mix a good shake, then add the ice and garnish(es). Any leftover Bloody Mary mix can be stored in the fridge for about a week.
Classic brands like Titos, Smirnoff, or Stoli are often used, but feel free to use your favorite!
Nope. A Caesar is a variation on the Bloody Mary invented in Calgary, Canada. It uses Clamato juice (a blend of tomato and clam juices) instead of tomato juice. Because of the clam juice (it’s better than it sounds), the Caesar is lighter and thinner than the Bloody Mary.
Sure, for the sake of convenience, though making it yourself puts you in control of what goes into your tomato juice and lends itself to more bespoke beverages.
Bloody Mary Variations Worth Trying
- Low-Carb Bloody Mary: Substitute tomato juice with low-sodium vegetable juice and remove the lemon juice.
- The Virgin Mary: Skip the vodka.
- Bloody Caesar: Swap the tomato juice for Clamato (a clam-tomato juice blend).
- Michelada: Use a Mexican lager instead of vodka and add a dash of soy sauce.
- Red Snapper: Replace the vodka with gin.