Debatably, the ultimate brunch cocktail … I’m so excited to share the recipe for the classic Bloody Mary cocktail with you today!
This recipe is easy to make with a ton of creative variations possible. In this past, I have shared my Sriracha Bloody Mary and Rosemary Bloody Mary, but I never shared the original, traditional recipe. We will remedy that today!
I’ll also share a few tips to take your homemade Bloody Mary to the next level. Here we go …
Table of Contents
Ingredients in a Bloody Mary
- Tomato Juice – You never need to buy Bloody Mary mix. Instead, use tomato juice and add few ingredients to it!
- Prepared Horseradish – This will add a spicy zing to your drink.
- Hot Sauce – Choose any type you love.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Adds a salty, delicious flavor.
- Ground Pepper – Black
- Smoked Paprika
- Vodka – I used Tito’s- I recommend a quality, unflavored vodka.
- Celery Salt For the Rim – I used flaky salt because that was what I had on hand.
- Pickles, Celery, Olives, Lime Wedges, or Asparagus – Optional garnish options. You can be as elaborate as you want with creative garnishes!
How to Mix a Bloody Mary
In a cocktail shaker, combine tomato juice, prepared horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground pepper and smoked paprika and vodka.
Add ice and shake with ice. In a tall glass, prepare a salt rim. Add ice cubes to the glass. Pour the mixed cocktail over ice. Garnish as much as you like.
History of The Bloody Mary Cocktail
The exact origins of the Bloody Mary are somewhat mysterious. One such tale dates back to the 1920s when a bartender named Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot allegedly concocted the first Bloody Mary at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.
It is said that he mixed vodka with tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and lemon to create a drink he called the “Bucket of Blood” or the “Red Snapper.”
Another popular legend attributes the birth of the Bloody Mary to the renowned comedian George Jessel. According to this story, Jessel coined the name after his friend Mary Brown Warburton, who was known for her fiery temper.
It is believed that Jessel served the drink at a party and humorously named it the “Bloody Mary” in reference to his friend’s strong personality.
The Bloody Mary quickly became a hit, and has held its spot for decades as one of the most popular brunch cocktails.
Tips for Making
- Make tomato juice ice cubes to your drink, which will be less diluted by ice.
- While I typically use traditional glassware, my favorite glass to serve a Bloody Mary in is a novelty boot glass.
- Go big with your garnishes to make the drink customized to your occasion.
Bloody Mary Variation Ideas
- Spicy Bloody Mary: Adding hot sauce or chili-infused vodka gives the drink an extra kick.
- Bloody Maria: Substituting vodka with tequila transforms the Bloody Mary into a Bloody Maria.
- Green Bloody Mary: Replacing the tomato juice with tomatillo juice or green tomato juice results in a tangy and vibrant green version of the classic cocktail.
- Bloody Caesar: An invention from our Canadian pals, this variation uses clamato juice (a blend of clam broth and tomato juice) for a briny and umami-rich flavor.
- Virgin Mary: A non-alcoholic version, perfect for those who prefer to skip the alcohol without compromising on taste (you can barely taste a difference!).
Other brunch recipes you may like:
- Deep Dish Quiche
- Overnight Oats
- The Best Fruit Salad
- Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
- 50+ Healthy Breakfast Ideas
- Our full breakfast recipe archive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best vodka for a Bloody Mary?
Choose a high quality vodka that is unflavored. A few good options are Tito’s, Smirnoff or Grey Goose.
What does a Bloody Mary taste like?
The main ingredient in bloody Mary is tomato juice and the cocktail tastes like a more savory and sometimes spicy version of tomato juice—with vodka of course.
What is a Bloody Mary without alcohol called?
A Virgin Mary, a Virgin Bloody Mary or a Bloody Mary mocktail.
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- 2 ounces vodka
- 4 ounces tomato juice
- 2 teaspoons horseradish (prepared)
- 2 dashes hot sauce
- 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pinch pepper (ground)
- 1 pinch paprika (smoked)
- 1 cocktail shaker
- In a cocktail shaker, combine tomato juice, prepared horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground pepper and smoked paprika and vodka.
- Add ice and shake with ice. In a tall glass, prepare a salt rim.
- Add ice cubes to the glass. Pour the mixed cocktail over ice.
- Garnish as much as you like.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.