Red Beer (Red Eye)

red beer or red eye

The Spruce 

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 drink (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
156 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 drink (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 318mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 2g
Calcium 19mg 1%
*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.)

Call it a red beer, or a red-eye, or a tomato beer, just don't call it a Bloody Mary. This is a very simple beer drink and although it's similar to a Bloody Mary, and some people mistakenly call it that, it is clearly not.

The Bloody Mary has a vodka base while the beer is used to mix up the red-eye. The recipe is also much simpler and really could not get much easier. To make it, you'll simply top your beer with a little tomato juice and add a pinch of salt.

This is a great drink for brunch and you'll find it perfect for watching your favorite college team play a mid-morning game. The red beer also is a super-easy "hair of the dog" option for those morning hangovers. That is, of course, if you have beer left over from the party.


  • 2 ounces tomato juice
  • 12 ounces beer
  • Salt (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour the tomato juice into a beer mug.

  3. Fill with beer.

  4. Add salt to taste and stir.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Make a Better Red Beer

The Beer: Any beer can be used in the red-eye, although you will find light lagers work best. There's no need to pour your good beer into this drink, so save the IPAs, stouts, and ales for drinking on their own.

Spice It Up: You also can dress up this drink's flavor in the same way you would a Bloody Mary. If you happen to have ​a Bloody Mary mix in the refrigerator, go ahead and use that. Everything you need is right there and you'll get a very flavorful drink.

Should you opt for the straight pour of tomato juice, don't skip the salt. It marries the two flavors together, which is why bartenders will often give you a salt shaker when you order a red beer. Just a pinch will do and be sure not to overdo it because it can quickly become too salty.

If you like, add a dash of hot sauce, a grind of pepper, or a pinch of celery salt to the mix. Be sure to go slow, stir the drink, and give it a taste before adding anything else. After a red beer or two, you'll find the perfect combination of your personal taste.

How Strong Is the Red Beer?

Depending on how you build it, the Bloody Mary often weighs in somewhere around 10 percent ABV (20 proof). It's a relatively light cocktail, which is why it's long been a morning favorite.

Even though we're pouring more beer into the red-eye, the absence of liquor makes this a considerably weaker drink. If you begin with a 5.0 percent ABV beer, the finished red-eye will be brought down to a mere 4.2 percent ABV.

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