how to make a bloody mary

How to Make a Bloody Mary: The Legendary Brunch Savior

The Legendary Brunch Savior: How to Make a Bloody Mary at Home and Wow Your Guests

how to make a bloody mary

Everything You Need to Know About How to Make a Bloody Mary

Imagine this: a lively brunch gathering with friends and family. Laughter fills the air, plates overflow with delicious food, and everyone reaches for a refreshing, savory drink to complement the atmosphere. This, my friend, is the perfect moment to unveil your mastery of the iconic Bloody Mary.

The Bloody Mary is more than just a cocktail; it's a brunchtime staple, a conversation starter, and a potential hangover cure all rolled into one. But beyond its social currency, there's a certain satisfaction in crafting the perfect Bloody Mary at home. You get to control the quality of ingredients, the level of spice, and the creativity of the garnish, transforming a simple drink into a personalized masterpiece that will leave your guests reaching for seconds (and compliments!).

So, how do you unlock the secrets of this legendary brunch beverage? Let's dive into the history, variations, and a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect Bloody Mary at home, guaranteed to impress even the most discerning brunch connoisseur.

Bloody Mary History: A Story Steeped in Mystery

how to make a bloody mary

The Bloody Mary's origins, like the drink itself, are a little bit spicy. According to a popular tale, Fernand Petiot, a bartender at New York City's St. Regis Hotel in the 1920s, created the drink by accident while trying to improve upon a tomato juice-based cocktail called the "Red Snapper". Another contender for the title is American actor George Jessel, who supposedly frequented the 21 Club in New York and preferred a mix of vodka and tomato juice. Regardless of its exact birthplace, the Bloody Mary quickly rose to fame, becoming a beloved brunch companion and a symbol of the "hair of the dog" hangover cure.

What's In a Bloody Mary?

The beauty of the Bloody Mary lies in its versatility. While there's a classic recipe to guide you, the true magic happens in the customization. Here's a breakdown of the key components:

  • Base Spirit: Vodka is the traditional choice, but feel free to experiment with tequila (creating a Bloody Maria) or gin (resulting in a Red Snapper).
  • Tomato Juice: This is the heart of the drink, so choose a high-quality juice you enjoy.
  • Seasonings and Flavorings: Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (like Tabasco), lemon juice, celery salt, and black pepper are the usual suspects.

Bloody Mary Recipe


  • 1 ½ cups Ice cubes
  • 1 ½ ounces Vodka
  • 3 ounces High-quality tomato juice
  • ¾ ounce Lemon juice
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-4 dashes Tabasco sauce (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon Celery salt
  • Pinch of Black pepper
  • Celery stalk (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedge (for garnish)


  1. Chill the Glass: For an extra refreshing drink, place your highball glass in the freezer for a few minutes before starting.
  2. The Perfect Balance: Fill the chilled glass with ice cubes. In a shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce (start with 2 dashes and adjust to your preference), celery salt, and black pepper.
  3. Shake it Up!: Secure the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds. This chills the drink and incorporates air for a lighter texture.
  4. Strain and Serve: Strain the vibrant red mixture into the prepared glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnishing Glory: This is where your creativity shines! A classic celery stalk and lemon wedge are always a safe bet. For a more adventurous brunch, consider options like:
    • Skewered olives, pickled onions, and cherry tomatoes
    • A mini shrimp cocktail
    • A mini cheeseburger slider (because, why not?)
    • A sprinkle of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper for an extra kick

Do I Have to Use Vodka in a Bloody Mary?

how to make a bloody mary

Absolutely not! The Bloody Mary welcomes variations. Here are some alternative base spirits to explore:

  • Tequila: Swap the vodka for tequila for a smoky twist, creating a Bloody Maria.
  • Gin: For a lighter and more herbal take, try gin instead of vodka, resulting in a Red Snapper.
  • Virgin Mary: For a non-alcoholic option, simply omit the vodka and enjoy the refreshing tomato juice base with your favorite seasonings.

How to Spice Up Your Bloody Mary

Feeling adventurous? Here are some ideas to elevate your Bloody Mary's spice game:

  • Horseradish: A touch of prepared horseradish adds a delightful kick.
  • Smoked Paprika: Sprinkle some smoked paprika on the rim of the glass or into the mix for a smoky depth.
  • Spicy Peppers: Muddle a fresh jalapeno pepper or a slice of habanero pepper in the shaker for an extra fiery punch (beware, this one packs a heat!).

Our Most Popular Alternative: The Spicy Mary

For those who like their Bloody Mary with a fiery edge, here's our take on the "Spicy Mary":

  • Follow steps 1-4 of the classic recipe.
  • Spice Up Your Life: Muddle a small slice of jalapeno pepper in the shaker with the other ingredients for a subtle heat.
  • Garnishing with Fire: Instead of a celery stalk, consider a slice of jalapeno or a pickled pepper for a visually stunning and tastefully spicy touch.

Goes Well With:

The savory and slightly spicy profile of the Bloody Mary makes it a perfect partner for brunch fare. Here are some delicious pairings to consider:

  • Eggs in any form: omelets, scrambles, or eggs Benedict.
  • Pancakes and waffles (especially with savory toppings like bacon or sausage)
  • Breakfast burritos or breakfast tacos

Nutritional Info

While not exactly a health drink, the Bloody Mary offers some advantages over sugary brunch cocktails like mimosas. A typical Bloody Mary contains around 120-150 calories depending on the ingredients used. Tomato juice is a source of vitamins A and C, and the use of fresh vegetables for garnishes can add a touch of fiber and essential nutrients.

Mastering the Art of Brunch Hospitality with Barprints

So there you have it! With these tips and tricks, you're well on your way to becoming a Bloody Mary mixologist extraordinaire. Remember, the beauty of this drink lies in its adaptability. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and spice levels to create your signature brunchtime masterpiece.

Now, imagine the look on your guests' faces as you unveil a perfectly crafted Bloody Mary, complete with a creative and delicious garnish. The compliments will flow as freely as the conversation, solidifying your reputation as the ultimate brunch host. What are you waiting for? Start mixing and impress your friends and family!

how to make a bloody mary

However, if you'd like to elevate your home bartending skills beyond the Bloody Mary, Barprints can help. Our comprehensive online bartending course, Mixology Mastery, equips you with the knowledge and techniques to create an impressive repertoire of classic and contemporary cocktails. From mastering essential shaking and stirring methods to understanding flavor profiles and building balanced drinks, Mixology Mastery empowers you to become a confident and entertaining host behind the bar. So, why not check it out and transform your home into a haven for delicious cocktails and unforgettable gatherings?

how to make a bloody mary