There are hundreds of variations on the classic Bloody Mary cocktail recipe. Die-hard Bloody Mary lovers all have their own special twists and preferences from extra hot sauce to elaborate garnishes featuring everything from pickles and olives to oysters and bacon! But what makes a perfect Bloody Mary? We’re sharing our top tips to help you get it just right.
Bloody Mary Recipe
Bloody Mary’s can be tricky to make due to the complex balance of flavours from the acidic tomato juice, to the tangy Worcestershire and spicy Tabasco, but as long as you have high-quality ingredients, a great recipe and the right techniques you won’t be disappointed!
What you’ll need:
- 2 ounces premium vodka
- 4 ounces tomato juice
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce (or more if you can handle the spice)
- A pinch of celery salt or sea salt
- A pinch of ground black pepper
- Put the ice in a large mixing jug then pour the vodka, tomato juice and lemon juice into it.
- Add in the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce along with the pinch of salt and pepper.
- Mix all of the ingredients together by stirring vigorously until it’s smooth, and then strain it into some tall glasses.
- Top up the drink with some more ice and add a garnish of your choice, fresh herbs, celery sticks and a slice of lemon traditionally work well.
If you’re looking for something a little different or want to simply enjoy the complexity and the experience of a Bloody Mary rather than making the cocktail yourself, our innovative, ready-to-drink Ghost of Mary Tudor cocktail is the perfect solution. Created by our master mixologist, The Ghost of Mary Tudor blends Ketel One Vodka, La Tomato Liqueur and Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur for a unique and exciting take on the classic recipe, delivering spice and intense flavour with every sip.
3 Garnishes to Improve your Bloody Mary Cocktail
If you want to really enhance your Bloody Mary cocktail, there are plenty of fun garnishes you can add to jazz it up.
1. Fresh Garnishes
Finishing off your cocktail with a fresh garnish such as mini carrots, tomatoes and bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, lemon, lime or cucumber slices will result in an even-more refreshing and visually-appealing drink.
2. Brined Garnishes
Adding a brined garnish such as dill pickles, olives, pickled shrimp or pickled jalapenos is always a popular choice as it gives the cocktail a savoury twist and as the Bloody Mary is typically a brunch cocktail, having a savoury garnish is perfect.
3. Unique Garnishes
If you want to go for something a bit more ‘out there’ try adding bacon and eggs. This is a brunch cocktail after all! The bacon will give your drink a meaty, smoky flavour and the hard-boiled egg can either be submerged whole in the drink to soak up the flavours or halved or quartered to sit neatly on top.
The Origins of the Bloody Mary Cocktail
Although many have claimed to have been the first to mix and perfect the Bloody Mary the two who most regularly receive credit are French bartender, Fernand Petiot and Hollywood star, George Jessel. Although Petiot claims to have invented the drink on the spur of the moment in 1921, the best story belongs to Jessel, who concocted it while desperately searching for a hangover cure in 1927.
It was 8:00 am in the morning, Jessel had been up all night drinking champagne and celebrating a softball game victory with Philadelphia playboy Elliot Sperver at La Maze’s bar in Palm Beach. Jessel had a volleyball game with Al Vanderbilt scheduled for 9:30 am that he was determined to attend but the night before was weighing heavily on him and he was in no fit state to play. He needed a miracle.
George and Elliot tore through the bar at La Maze’s looking for a cure when the bartender suggested they try vodka. At that time vodka was an uncommon spirit and that same bottle had been sitting in the bar for six years without once being ordered. George sniffed it skeptically and although the smell reminded him of rotten potatoes he was willing to try anything.
Remembering that a friend of his often drank tomato juice in the mornings to clear her head, he combined the vodka with tomato juice and added Worcestershire sauce and lemon to kill the smell. After a few sips he started to feel better and the Bloody Mary was born.
But the drink still didn’t have it’s name. Enter Mary Brown Warburton who had also been out all night. She too was looking for a miracle, so of course, George offered her a taste of his new creation. Mary took a swig, spilled some of the bright red liquid down the front of her white dress and started laughing. “Now you can call me Bloody Mary, George!” The rest is history.
Bloody Mary Fun facts!
Now you know the best recipe and the history behind the Bloody Mary, here are 5 fun facts about the iconic cocktail that will impress everyone at your next brunch.
- In America, January 1st is known as National Bloody Mary Day.
- Ernest Hemmingway created his own version of the drink which included vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, celery salt, black pepper and cayenne.
- Bloody Mary is the cocktail of choice for tourists on a plane as the savoury flavours make it easier to enjoy in the air rather than sweet drinks.
- The classic celery stick garnish began in Chicago when a customer didn’t get a swizzle stick so grabbed the first thing he could find to stir the drink with - a stick of celery that was on his plate.
- In the ‘50s the cocktail was actually known as the ‘Red Snapper’ because the name ‘Bloody Mary’ was too racy for some people.
Take a look at all the seasonal cocktails we have to offer on our menu.Looking for some alcohol-free drinks? Have a read of our ultimate guide of non-alcoholic spirits.