The Best Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary
The Spruce
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
315 Calories
2g Fat
68g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 315
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 348mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 20g 70%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 423mg 2,115%
Calcium 197mg 15%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 1209mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The bloody mary is an icon in the cocktail world. It is a favorite brunch drink anyone can mix up, and it's touted as one of the best hangover cures. In short, few drinks can beat a made-from-scratch bloody mary, and it's really no wonder that this popular cocktail has inspired countless tomato drinks over the years.

There are no real secrets to making a great bloody mary. It's actually a very simple drink when you break it down: a shot of vodka, ice, tomato juice, lemon juice, and spices. It comes together quickly, or the base can be prepared ahead of time for a DIY bloody mary mix. Simply mix up a vodkaless batch and store it in the refrigerator in a pitcher with a lid. It will keep for up to two weeks.

Your premade bloody mary mix should stay fresh for a week or slightly longer. This is also a nice option for parties, tailgating, or as a quick hangover relief. When it's time for a bloody mary, simply pour vodka over ice, add your mix, and include any extra seasonings you like!

The drink is completely adaptable to suit your personal taste; it can be as spicy or mild as you like. Switch out the liquor or skip it altogether and enjoy a virgin mary.

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Click Play to See This Bloody Mary Recipe Come Together

"Driven by tomato juice, this cocktail has infinite variations, and trust that this recipe is a spot-on starting point to understanding this “hangover cure”. Play and tweak everything in this cocktail to understand your own palate, but know with a certainty that a Bloody Mary will be different everywhere you might order one." —Sean Johnson

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 3 ounces tomato juice

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 dash hot sauce, or to taste

  • 1 pinch celery salt

  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

  • Horseradish, optional and to taste

  • Lemon wedge, for garnish

  • Celery stalk, or pickle spear, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Bloody Mary ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. In a highball glass over ice cubes, pour the vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, and the dash of Worcheshire sauce.

    Add bloody mary ingredients to highball glass
    The Spruce
  3. Add the hot sauce, celery salt, and pepper to taste. If using, add the horseradish.

    Add seasonings to bloody mary
    The Spruce
  4. Stir well, or try rolling the drink. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

    Stir bloody mary ingredients
    The Spruce
  5. Garnish with a lemon wedge and celery stalk or pickle. Serve and enjoy.

    Bloody mary drink
     The Spruce

For the Best Bloody Mary

Here are a few expert suggestions on how to make the best bloody mary:

  • Tomato juice is the key. Choose quality tomato juice, or if you have an electric juicer, run a few ripe tomatoes through it and enjoy the freshest possible tomato juice.
  • If using store-bought tomato juice, read the label; choose a juice free from unnecessary additives or sodium, and skip cans of tomato juice as they tend to be of lower quality. Good tomato juice should come in a glass bottle with a tight seal.
  • Use a good hot sauce; the spiciness of the drink will depend on the kind and amount you use. Tabasco is a favorite, but experiment with different brands, intensities, and flavors. Cholula Chili Garlic is highly recommended. As with any spicy cocktail, start with less and add more to suit your taste.
  • A great bloody mary needs a good garnish. The celery stalk is the most common, but many fans will use a pickle spear or both. Pickles are amazing in this drink because their juices infuse the tomato juice, adding another dimension that celery simply cannot offer. The lemon wedge is essential as well; use it to squeeze a bit more juice into the drink when needed, or rub it around the rim of the glass to perk up your taste buds before each drink.

Other Tomato-Based Drinks

Once you get a taste for this flavorful cocktail, you will definitely want more and there is no shortage of recipes to choose from. Here are a few ideas to enjoy other tomato-based cocktails:

  • Other liquors add an extra layer of flavor, like in the Central Park, a modern recipe that features gin with just a hint of vanilla. The bloody maria opts for tequila, but mezcal works as well and that liquor's smokiness definitely does not get lost in the tomato. Whiskey is another option for any "bloody" cocktail and the forty creek caesar is a fun recipe to start off with.
  • A crazy bloody mary with all sorts of garnishes is a fun brunch idea; try grilled cheese, mini burgers, bacon straws, or shrimp.
  • A very popular variation is the bloody caesar, which simply uses clamato instead of tomato juice.
  • For a quick tomato-infused drink, make a red beer (or red eye) by adding a little tomato juice to your favorite beer, plus a pinch of salt.
  • For a unique drink, infuse vodka with tomatoes and enjoy this tomojito recipe: muddle juicy cherry tomatoes, add basil simple syrup, and top the entire mix with soda.
  • The popular sangrita is a way to take a shot of tequila (or sip it slowly) with a chaser. While the original Mexican sangrita recipe uses orange juice, the Americanized version opts for a tomato juice base.

How Strong Is a Bloody Mary?

Unless you overpour the vodka, the bloody mary will be a gentle mixed drink. Its alcohol content should fall somewhere around 10 percent ABV (20 proof), or about the same as a light wine.