The Bloody Mary is a Prohibition-era tradition that Americans are still happily holding on to. The recipe has changed over the years from fresh, smashed tomatoes to canned tomato juice and has seen the addition of some elaborate garnishes. There are many different variations on the cocktail but we have included the best recipes to entertain guests.

Vodka and Tomato Juice

Many will say that the quality of vodka in a Bloody Mary doesn’t matter because the flavor is masked by the tomato juice. We disagree with this, as will your stomach if you use cheap vodka. Find a decent vodka, not bottom shelf, but not necessarily top shelf either.

For the tomato juice portion, canned juice is an option, as is pre-made Bloody Mary mix. We recommend using either normal or spicy tomato juice and then doctoring it to suit the tastes of your guests. The ratio of vodka to tomato juice is typically 1.5 oz of vodka to 3 oz. tomato juice. Of course, these ratios can also be reversed if you’re working on the hair of the dog.

Additional Ingredients to Suit Your Tastes

This is the part of the process that personalizes your Bloody Mary. Most Bloody Marys have a touch of Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of Tabasco, salt, pepper, and celery salt. Horseradish, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic powder and pickle juice are all options for additions. It is best to start with a fairly basic recipe, then make these additions incrementally to find what you like.

Basic Bloody Mary Recipe

1 cup ice cubes

1 jigger vodka

¾ cup tomato juice

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 dash hot sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a salt-rimmed glass, garnish with celery stalk.


No-Holds Barred Esquire Recipe

¼ cup tomato juice

¼ inch horseradish, chopped

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

4 dashes hot sauce

½ lime, fresh squeezed

½ lemon, fresh squeezed

1 Tbsp. vodka

Dash of black pepper

Dash of sea salt

Dash of celery seeds

Mix tomato juice, celery seeds, horseradish and Worcestershire in a blender until smooth. Now include salt, pepper, hot sauce, lemon and lime. Alter the spice, salt and citrus to suit your specific tastes. A splash of vodka will even out your mix and allow the juices to pop. Bring together 6-8 ounces of delicious mix with 2 ounces of vodka in a glass. Use two glasses with ice and pour your Bloody Mary back and 3 or 4 times to blend it all together. Add a celery stalk and lime for taste as well as aesthetic appeal