Every Sunday brunch deserves to start off with a hearty, fully loaded Bloody Mary Recipe! Spicy tomato juice, vodka, and all kinds of crazy garnishes make this cocktail the ultimate “crazy weekend” Instagram photo!
No matter the season, my best Bloody Mary is one recipe you’ll want to keep in your back pocket. Whether you’re making a pitcher to serve at a large brunch and your favorite tater tot casserole or nursing a nasty hangover solo, this boozy vegetable-based cocktail will become your go-to! It’s full of nothing but good stuff and is completely customizable based on your tastes. Be sure to garnish it up as much as you want, though – presentation is everything when it comes to this cocktail!
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The food world is full of this vs. that debates.
With breakfast, it’s pancakes vs. waffles (with French toast as a third party candidate.)
Lunch? Crunchy or smooth peanut butter. Coke vs. Pepsi.
And we can’t forget the eternal struggle: chocolate vs. vanilla.
When it comes to brunch, everything is fair game except for when it comes to cocktails. When out with your girlfriends, you’re either ordering a pitcher of mimosas or the perfect Bloody Mary recipe, and there’s always always someone who doesn’t like one or the other.
I used to be Team Mimosa all the way. Even the mention of a Bloody Mary made my nose wrinkle in disgust. I was under the impression that they were either pulverized salsa or straight vegetable juice (which my great grandfather drank on the regular, which I found gross).
What’s in a Bloody Mary?
My idea of a Bloody Mary was way off base, my friends.
As it turns out, these morning cocktails are way more than just a bottle of V8 and some olives. You can customize them however you want, right up to taking the easy way out and buying a bottle of Bloody Mary mixer from your local liquor store.
I prefer to mix up my own. A lot of times, those bottles are full of preservatives and other stuff I don’t care to consume, so hand-picking ingredients is the way to go if you’re with me on that.
A basic Bloody Mary recipe contains:
- Tomato juice or vegetable juice
- High-quality vodka
- Lemon juice
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce
- Salt & pepper
Really the ingredient list is exhaustive. Adding garlic, horseradish, herbs, and even olive or pickle juice (like I do in this recipe) can turn an ordinary Bloody Mary into your signature brunch drink!
How to Make a Bloody Mary
This recipe is so easy! Combine all your bloody mix ingredients in a pour bottle mason jar. I like to make my mix in a pour bottle when we have friends over because it’ll hold 4 to 6 times more mix. Then we have mix ready to go all morning long. If you’re just making one cocktail you can add the mix ingredients directly into a cocktail shaker.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Pour in the vodka and 6 ounces of bloody mary mix (or the ingredients listed below).
- Cover the shaker and shake vigorously.
- Strain into a collins glass filled with ice and garnish liberally.
Making your mix ahead of time makes this cocktail extra easy and you can keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple days if needed.
What are the best garnishes on a Bloody Mary?
Garnishes are also a matter of taste, as well as what you have on hand. Classic versions are served with celery, olives, and lemon wedges.
On the particular Bloody Mary, I’ve included
- Cornichons (aka mini dill pickles)
- Green olives
- Sriracha-glazed bacon
- Celery stalks
- Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus
- Cheddar cheese cubes
- Seasoned shrimp
- Lime wedges
The possibilities are endless! You can even go crazy and turn your Mary into a meal, topping it with crazy appetizer-sized nibbles like chicken tenders, bacon-wrapped scallops, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, or even my fave blue cheese sliders!
And don’t forget to dress up the rim of your glasses with a salt and pepper or Tajin rim. It makes those sips extra delish!
Where did the term ‘Bloody Mary’ come from?
No one is 100% sure how this cocktail got her name, but the speculations are amusing to note!
The obvious answer is Queen Mary Tudor I of England, known for her bloody reign vs. the Protestants in the 16th century. But what would an English queen have to do with a vodka drink?
The more likely story involves 1920s American bartender Fernand Petiot. He created the drink at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, mixing up equal parts of tomato juice and vodka. A patron suggested the name based on a girl named Mary at the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, of which the drink reminded him.
In the ’30s, Petiot brought the recipe with him to New York, where the reception was met with negativity. Customers asked him to spice up the drink a bit, so he experimented by adding black pepper, cayenne, Worcestershire, lemon and a generous splash of Tabasco sauce.
Thus was born what we now know as a Bloody Mary.
Does a Bloody Mary really help a hangover?
Known as a “hair of the dog” drink, the Bloody Mary is widely believed to ease and even cure hangovers.
The heavy vegetable base is believed to settle the stomach, the salt replenishes lost electrolytes, and the vodka helps relieve headaches.
Or so they say.
All medical advice will assure you that the Bloody Mary cannot cure a hangover, but a little relief is worth the effort of mixing up one or two after a long night of drinking.
Even if it’s just a placebo effect.
Want more of my favorite brunch recipes?
- Home Fries
- Farmer’s Casserole
- Strawberry Tequila Sunrise
- Sausage Gravy
- Mocha Crumb Mufins
- More drink recipes…
Tools used to make this Bloody Mary Recipe
Cocktail Shaker: This shaker is a bartender’s best friend! Easy to use and the best way to mix up your favorite cocktails!
Jigger: Every home bartender should have a jigger for measuring their cocktail ingredients. This one has a no-slip grip and is marked with increment measuring lines so you can make the perfect cocktail every time.
- Petite dill pickles
- Green olives
- Celery stalks
- Cooked shrimp
- Cheddar cheese cubes
- Fried bacon
- Lime wedges
- Rub the rim of a standard highball glass with lime juice, then twist it into a small shallow bowl of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, then add vegetable or tomato juice, vodka, pickle juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Place the lid on and shake for 30 seconds.
- Fill the salt & pepper-rimmed glass with ice, then pour Bloody Mary into it. Garnish as desired and serve.