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Classic Bloody Mary

Bloody Marys are heroic at brunch. They’re even fine to drink with dinner, if you’re in the mood.

Classic Bloody Mary
Classic Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary is hard alcohol’s response to breakfast beers. Made with a handful of ingredients that you (probably) have hanging around in your cupboards, this daily kickstarter is the cure for last night’s hangover. We think.

The most important part of a Bloody Mary cocktail, which is considered a classic cocktail by the IBA, is getting the recipe correct. So we’re here to help you perfect your homemade Bloody Mary recipe by showing you what should be included, as well as what could be included. Because cocktail recipes vary, ya know?

One of the funniest things about a Bloody is that the total time it takes to make one is roughly equal to the total time it takes to drink one.

A top down look at a garnished Bloody Mary with black pepper
A little dusting of black pepper to spice it up

Building a Spicy Cocktail

Many of you Bloody-lovers out there love a spicy Bloody Mary. Well, there are many ways to get there. You can double or triple the horseradish. Same goes for the Tabasco. You can even sub in hotter hot sauces (Ghost Pepper Bloody Mary anyone!?).

Everyone has a different tolerance for heat, so make sure you have checked with everyone you’re pouring for first. If it’s just for you, fire away with the black pepper and the Tabasco and get that tongue burning.

Good Vodkas to use for making the Classic Cocktail

You want a good balance of quality vodka matched to price. We’re not suggesting anything College Dorm Grade, gosh no.

We prefer a vodka like Tito’s. It tastes good and the price of a handle of Tito’s is quite reasonable for the quality.

  • Absolut
  • Ketel One
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Three Different Bloody Mary Mixes
Agalima, Christie's, and McClure's for the win!

Bloody Mary mixes

For those of you who don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, or, for the set-it-and-forget-it types, there are a handful of excellent Bloody Mary mixes on the market.

If you do opt for a mix, we recommend squeezing some fresh lime juice from a wedge or two and garnishing with one as well.

  • Christie’s
  • McClure’s
  • Old Bay Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary Alternatives/Variations

  • Bloody Maria
  • Caesar
  • Red Snapper
A handle of Tower Vodka and Christie's New England Bloody Mary Mix
A strong combo for morning fun

Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bars

Most cocktails aren’t able to be constructed in an a la carte fashion. Then again, most cocktails are a bit more strict with ingredients and the associated measurements. 100% true for the four trademarked cocktails.

But the Bloody Mary is different. It allows for flexibility in both ingredient and garnish, so long as you stay steady with the drink’s tomato backbone. And that’s how Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bars came to life. That and handles of vodka.

If you visit one for brunch, you’ll see a wild assortment of garnishes and add-ons available at each beverage buffet. Moving beyond the celery stick and the fresh lemon juice, you’ll be treated to prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, pickled olives, bacon and sopressata skewers.

Some even offer a choice when it comes to the alcohol base of the traditional vodka cocktail, letting patrons select gin or tequila as an option. We applaud the efforts.


  1. Celery Salt
  2. Cocktail Shaker
  3. Highball Glass
  4. Ice
  5. Stirrer


Ingredient Amount
Fresh Lime Juice 1/2oz
Tomato Juice 4oz
Vodka 2oz
Worcestershire Sauce 2-3 Dashes
Seasonings (Black Pepper, Celery Salt, Horseradish, Tabasco Sauce) 1-2 Pinches
Garnish 1 Celery Stalk and 1 Lime Wedge

Substitute Ingredients & Variations

  • You can substitute celery salt for regular table salt (if you’re a “salt person” or you’re using tequila)
  • You can substitute a lime wedge garnish for a lemon wedge
  • You can substitute vodka for gin or tequila (it won’t be a classic bloody mary anymore though)
  • You can substitute a highball glass for a Collins glass or even a pint glass. Especially if it’s that kind of morning.
  • You can substitute tomato juice for blended crushed tomatoes. We use our Vitamix to do this.
  • You can substitute Tabasco sauce for your favorite hot sauce.


  1. 1.

    Gather Ingredients

    The ingredients to make a Classic Bloody Mary include Vodka, Tomato Juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Fresh Lime Juice, and a variety of seasonings.


What type of glass do you pour a Classic Bloody Mary cocktail into?

A Highball Glass.