The Bloody Mary Cocktail is a delicious way to mix yourself up a drink and get your daily dose of vegetables at the same time. It’s not for everyone, but they hold a special place in the hearts of those who have acquired a taste for them. And, it’s no coincidence that National Bloody Mary Day is January 1st. This has little to do with starting the year off right with a helping of healthy vegetables, and a lot to do with the fact that many people swear that the cocktail is a potent cure for hangovers.
An American bartender by the name of Fernand Petiot first created the Bloody Mary cocktail at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris sometime during the 1920’s. The story goes that a patron said the drink reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, and also of a girl named Mary. So, he said it should be called the “Bloody Mary”, and the name stuck.
The drink originally consisted of only tomato juice and vodka. But, when Petiot moved to New York and began bartending at the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel, the original Bloody Mary recipe wasn’t well-received by New Yorkers, who found it bland. So, he added cayenne pepper, black pepper, lemon, Worcestershire sauce and a big dash of TABASCO sauce. Thus, the traditional Bloody Mary that we know and love was born.
There’s also an obvious association between the drink and Mary Tudor, Mary I of England, also known as Bloody Mary. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, but was declared illegitimate when Henry divorced Catherine and married Anne Boleyn. Her nickname, Bloody Mary, comes from the numerous Protestants that she had killed in an attempt to make Catholicism the national religion. Some believe that the cocktail was named after her, and some even believe that the drink has been around since the mid-1500’s, when she reigned.
No matter how and when the cocktail was originally created, the Bloody Mary is a cocktail that everyone should try at least once. It’s a very versatile recipe that’s easy to whip up. Here are the best Bloody Mary recipes:
Classic Bloody Mary
This recipe is pretty close to the original recipe created in New York. Unlike other recipes on this list, there are no real frills or unexpected ingredients in it. But, it will be a lot of unexpectedly pleasant flavors if you’ve never had one before!
- 1 1/2 oz. Vodka
- 1/2 c. tomato juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1-3 dashes TABASCO sauce
- 4-6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 lemon wedge
- In a cocktail shaker with a scoop of ice, add all ingredients and shake until chilled (about 15-20 seconds)
- Strain into a tall glass
- Garnish with celery stick and lemon wedge
This recipe has the original tomato-and-heat flavors from the original recipe, but adds a bit of a twist. Mezcal makes an appearance, rather than the vodka that is typically used, and it brings with it some smokey flavor. And, there are some other vegetable juices that give the drink complexity.
- 1 750-ml bottle Mezcal
- 1 litre fresh tomato juice
- 6 oz. Lime juice
- 6 oz. Cucumber juice
- 6 oz. Celery juice
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons horseradish
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 oz. TABASCO Chipotle sauce
- 1 teaspoon Maldon smoked salt
- Add all ingredients to a large pitcher and mix until combined
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
- Pour into tall glasses filled with ice
- Garnish with pepperoncini, radish and olive on a skewer
Pickle Bloody Mary Shooters
What’s better than a Bloody Mary? Why, a Bloody Mary served inside a pickle, of course! This recipe calls for using large pickles as decadent shot glasses. And the best part is that you can eat the pickle once you’ve enjoyed your shot!
- 8 large pickles
- Old Bay seasoning (for rimming)
- 1 c. tomato juice, chilled
- 6 oz. Vodka
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- Juice from half a lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Celery leaves (for garnish)
- Cut the ends off of each pickle so that they’re flat on both ends, then cut them in half crosswise. Scoop the middle out of the pickles using a quarter teaspoon. Then dip the top of each pickle in Old Bay seasoning to rim them
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except the celery leaves) to a large pitcher and stir to combine
- Pour into pickle shot glasses
- Garnish with celery leaves
One would probably assume that a drink that contains blackberries would have no further qualities beyond simply being sweet, but they would be wrong in this case. This drink packs a kick! Not only does it contain jalapenos, it contains Stoli Hot vodka, which adds spiciness to the cocktail, and the blackberries add some sweetness to balance it out. It’s a fruity, spicy drink that’s easy to make and fun to sip!
- 4-5 blackberries
- 1/2 oz. Lime juice
- 1/2 oz. Lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. Chili syrup
- 2 jalapeno slices
- 1 1/2 oz. Stoli Hot vodka
- 3 oz. Tomato-based Bloody Mary mix
- Salt, to rim
- Pickled bacon slice, jalapeno slice, cucumber round slice, blackberry (garnish)
- In a mixing glass, add blackberries, lime juice, lemon juice and jalapenos, and muddle them
- Add vodka and Bloody Mary mix
- Shake until combined
- Strain into a salt-rimmed wine glass
- Add garnishes to a skewer
Anasazi Bloodless Mary
Not a fan of tomatoes or tomato juice? No problem! This recipe doesn’t include the typical tomato flavors that are found in most Bloody Marys, but still keeps the other spicy flavors. It’s also a nice, easy way to try your hand at infusing vodka!
- 1 8-inch stalk of horseradish root, diced
- 1 8-inch stalk of celery root, diced
- Zest of 4 lemons
- 2 oz. TABASCO
- 2 oz. Worcestershire sauce
- Cracked black pepper
- Vodka to top
- Dried tomatoes (garnish)
- In a glass jar, add horseradish, celery, lemon zest, TABASCO, and Worcestershire sauce
- Fill the rest of the jar with vodka
- Allow to infuse for at least 2 full days
- Strain into a glass vessel
- So serve: Pour into a glass and garnish with dried tomatoes
It doesn’t matter what you choose to put in your cocktail because the recipe is so versatile. As long as you keep the spicy, vegetable flavors, you could add everything but the kitchen sink to this cocktail, and it would still come out tasting great. And, because of the variety of vegetables in it, it’s probably a healthier option than your usual go-to cocktail!