Bloody Mary, Bloody Maria

I started this blog because I like sharing tips and tricks with total strangers. I believe in the value of the free-flow of information. But with this recipe for Bloody Marys, I’m going to stress a new tip—somethings you have to do on your own. Every bartender has their own version of a Bloody Mary, and the versions all have to do with the spice mix. I will tell you that, basically, the spice mix usually contains Gold’s horseradish, Tabasco sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and salt. Sometimes, there’s lemon juice. Sometimes, it’s poured from a bottle of Mrs. T’s. Sometimes, it has cucumbers, ginger, or 3 drops of liquid smoke.

Start with the basics and grow or subtract from there. But I’m only going to list it as Bloody Mary spice-mix and not reveal my secrets. I use two ingredients to make it my own; they’re both readily available in my pantry and in the supermarket. Guests of DnU may get to learn these secrets when they’re enjoying a nice Bloody Mary at brunch, because bartenders have no secrets while bantering, but I’ll be damned if I write them down for any old hack to steal.

Bloody Mary

  • 6 oz tomato juice or tomato-based vegetable juice
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1–1½ Tbs Bloody Mary spice-mix
  • 6–8 in celery stalk, washed very well, with leaves on end if they look good
  • 1 wedge, lemon or lime
  • enough ice to fill ½ collins glass
Shake tomato juice, vodka, and spice-mix together, and pour into collins glass containing ice and celery stalk. A bit of salt and black pepper on top never hurt. Garnish with lemon wedge.

Now, as this stands, it’s a wonderful drink. I’ve recently found that Stolichnaya vodka, with it’s sweet taste, works very well in Bloody Marys. Instead of being a neutral adder-of-alcohol, the Stoli complements the sweetness of the tomato, normally squashed under the salty/spicy punch of all the other ingredients.

I’ve found that vegetable juice sometimes adds off-flavors to Bloody Marys, but if that’s all that’s found in the pantry, it will certainly work. In this case, modify the Bloody Mary spice mix a bit to reduce savory or vinegary additives and slightly increase saltier.

In almost every recipe, where I recommend experimenting with replacement ingredients, I state them in text like this, and leave it as that. But if I can do anymore to evangelize replacing the vodka with tequila, I will. So:

Bloody Maria

  • 6 oz tomato juice or tomato-based vegetable juice
  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1–1½ Tbs Bloody Mary spice-mix
  • 6–8 in celery stalk, washed very well, with leaves on end if they look good
  • 1 wedge, lime
  • enough ice to fill ½ collins glass
Shake tomato juice, vodka, and spice-mix well, and pour into collins glass containing ice and celery stalk. A bit of salt and black pepper on top never hurt. Garnish with lime wedge.

Tequila brings its savory woodiness to this party and makes it a fiesta. The Bloody Maira tastes like the bartender intended this to be a full-on lunch instead of just a breakfast drink. If I do nothing else but convince more people to try the Bloody Maira, I will have done more for humanity than I dared hope.