Some like it more lemony, some like it more spicy. However you like your Bloody Mary, this ever evolving American classic never goes out of style.
Few cocktails can lay claim to the evolution of the unique Bloody Mary. As usual, there are many who had a hand in inventing this classic. The drink we know today is said to have started as a simple vodka and tomato juice, blended by a New York city bartender as a hangover cure for a patron after a late night out in the city that never sleeps. It then grew more complex and spicy by adding ingredients like salt, pepper and hot sauce. It has now become a brunch staple that continues to evolve. I've seen bars that create a whole meal on a skewer over this drink, and what's not to like about that?
What you'll need
I like to start simple with this drink and add from there. So to get started you'll need the following:
- Tomato juice
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Hot sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Celery salt
- Leafy celery stalk, lemon wedge and olive for garnish
Once you've built a solid foundation for the drink and are comfortable adding ingredients, let your imagination guide you. A friend makes these to include thick slices of bacon and avocado, but don't stop there!
Tips for a successful Bloody Mary
Some people like to use V-8 vegetable juice instead of only tomato juice, but I like to start with a clean pallet and mix the spices to my taste. I also like to use a tall glass -- think a Collins glass -- for this drink. It looks striking in the tall thin glass with a celery stalk sticking out of it and a nice layer of celery salt on top. Some people like to also 'salt' the rim with celery salt, but I find it gets too salty and bitter for my taste.
As far as the pepper sauce goes, the five drops I recommend starting with will give you a nice spice without making it too hot. Everyone has a different tolerance for heat, so you need to taste and adjust to your preference. Nancy likes to feel it burn all the way down her throat, but I prefer a spicy taste without the burn.
Follow these tips and build from there:
- Use fresh, organic tomato juice as a base.
- Use your favorite tasting vodka as a mixer.
- Avoid mixes which often have high sodium and can make this drink very salty.
- Go easy on the hot sauce until you find the right mix for your personal taste.
The tangy Bloody Mary is an ever evolving American classic.
- 1 ½ oz vodka
- 4-6 oz organic tomato juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 long dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 5 drops hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 pinch black ground pepper
- Celery salt to taste
- Add a scoop of ice to a tall cocktail glass.
- Pour in Vodka, tomato juice and lemon juice.
- Mix all ingredients in glass with a bar spoon to ensure proper distribution--you never want to have the spirit sit on top of the drink.
- Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
- Add celery salt to top of drink.
- Add leafy celery stick, lemon wedge and olives as garnish