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Is there a GREAT Bloody Mary Mix ???

What's the best bloody mary mix you know of ? That isn't too difficult to prepare, that is...

Is there a good "bottled" one ?? Like Major Peters or something ?

I used to love the bloody mary's at a nearby bar, the mixer was rich... but the other day they had something that was totally watered down and disappointing...

I'm primarily concerned just with the tomato juice "base"... all the herbs and flavorings I can adjust but need a great juice base... What are your suggestions ??

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  1. I'd do as most bars do: Start with basic canned tomato juice, and add your own seasonings. It isn't too tricky, and just about everything you'll add is a pantry staple. A simple mix (this one is from master mixologist Dale DeGroff) would be a 46 ounce can of tomato juice, 2 1/2 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of Worcestershire, and 2 teaspoons Tabasco, along with salt and pepper to taste. I think I'd probably add a little more Worcestershire, but that's just me. There are all sorts of things you can add to customize... celery salt, horseradish, lime juice, A-1 sauce (highly recommended), wasabi, chili powder, bitters, beef bouillon, V-8 juice... the mind boggles.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

      i knew i was missing something! i've been doing V8 with hot sauce, ground black pepper, and sometimes horseradish, but the LEMON is what i need!

      1. re: jamieeats

        And Worcestershire too. It adds a nice meaty flavor bump.

          1. re: jamieeats

            tomatos, in any form, go well with a touch of lemon or lime.

        1. What about the tomato juice itself ? Do you have a particular brand that holds up well and doesn't get watery and separate ??

          3 Replies
          1. re: Chicago Mike

            I wouldn't worry too much about separation. A good bloody mary will require constant stirring anyway to redistribute the heavier stuff like black pepper & celery seed - hence the celery stalk or other veggie.

            1. re: Chicago Mike

              All the bars I know use Sacramento Tomato Juice, they ask for it by name.

              1. re: Chicago Mike

                After the taste testing in the link below the recommendation is R. W. Knudsen tomato juice as the base for Bloody Marys. I have some in my fridge right now and concur wholeheartedly.


              2. Check out this link for a Bloody Mary mix review. Of the brands in the "Above Average" category, I have tried and enjoyed Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix. It would make a great base to personalize to your taste. I usually add a little horseradish and beef broth to mine. Coat the rim your glass with Old Bay and you are ready to go.


                1 Reply
                1. re: CDouglas

                  Sounds like you could also just use it as a marinade for tuna steaks or shrimp !! :) Thanks for the link!

                2. I knew a bartender that swore that the best Bloody Mary mix was Cattleman's BBQ sauce, straight from the jug. She would 'decant' it to an unmarked bottle for use at the bar.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ricepad

                    shows ya that if you put alcohol in almost anything and call it a mixed drink, some people will like it.

                  2. I love Demitri's mix. It's spicy, complex, with deep flavors.


                    1. I had the Williams Sonoma mix the other day with some pepper added to a glass rimmed with old bay- it was wonderful. The usual garnishes.

                      1. If you have a Trader Joe's nearby, they sell a good one that needs very little tweaking. On-line there's a brand called Pain is Good that's awesome and very spicy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mollyomormon

                          Molly, I discovered "Pain is Good" last year. A terrific mix. Try their line of sauces as well.

                        2. My secret ingredient: pickle juice.

                          Add about a shots worth for a 16 oz. bloody-M and see if it doesn't make it special.


                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Kaster

                            Oh my god.. You've got my secret ingredient! The pickle juice makes a HUGE difference!

                            1. re: Faraway11

                              This is my secret ingredient too! Or the brine from a jar of jalapeno peppers if I don't have any pickles on hand (or both!).

                                1. re: Kaster

                                  I would like to try the pickle juice secret. 1 oz. in a 16 oz. cocktail sounds like a lot, though.

                                  1. re: Kaster

                                    I use a teaspoon of olive brine, and one olive, which i mash or chop to mush, and add to the mix. It is a HUGE hit.

                                  2. the best pre-mixed i've had is bloody bold. it has a lot of horseradish in it and is pretty thick, but still needs a little more heat for my taste.

                                    1. I like Campbell's organic tomato juice for a base. The secret is to let it sit in the fridge for a couple days and then open and pour off some of the "tomato water", for lack of a better term. You get a thicker base that way. Making your own is going to be an improvement over most store bought products. I've also read somewhere that having all the ingredients ice cold is essential, including the vodka.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: bryan


                                        I currently use Campbell's regular tomato juice and am interested in the taste difference of the organic. Being organic also sounds more expensive. Is it that much more?

                                        I will have to disagree on the vodka being ice cold for any cocktail. Ice cold alcohol has a thicker consistency that prevents it from properly mixing with the mixer.

                                        1. re: bryan

                                          I like the Campbell's juice. I haven't tried the pouring off the water trick, but will. Thanks. I'm not a big fan of mixes, but have had good luck with Mr T.

                                        2. I think I found a damn good one--Borsari. It's not as "lumpy" as some mixes, packs a good taste punch with garlicky and peppery (not just salty!) flavor notes. I still like mixing my own but Borsari made even a painfully cheap vodka that we were given as a gift (yeah and still drank) tasty.

                                          1. zing-zang is the best in a bottle

                                            1. I've good things about Zing Zang, and great things about Whiskey Willies (which has more horseradish).

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: cherie

                                                Zing Zang has been my favorite starting point, but I've never had a pre mixed that didn't need some adulteration; usually horseradish, some spices and some pepper sauce and lime juice. I also will add a little Gates BBQ sauce and sometimes some wasabi powder.

                                              2. Give a Caesar a try.....

                                                Adds the missing ingredient to Bloody Marys

                                                1. I don’t have any particular brand to suggest, but one tip you might want to keep in mind as you shop. I’d compare sodium levels of the various mixes. You can always add salt, but you can’t take it away....

                                                  1. i haven't tried either of these, but man - they sure do sound like they're delish


                                                    1. "Mr. and Mrs. T's" regular -- not the bold and spicy.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        One of the few things I like about flying Northwest Airlines is that their drink service will give you a can of Mr & Mrs T bloody mary mix as your complimentary soft drink. I love the stuff just as a beverage.

                                                        1. re: Greg B

                                                          Mr and Mrs T's - regular. Is there anything better on a flight? Ahh..the sodium..the elevated buzz....makes the landing much smoother.

                                                          I do not like Daily's BM mix..that stuff is awful.

                                                      2. Tabasco's Bloody Mary Mix or Zing Zang

                                                        1. I found a local source for some excellent Bloody Mary's - It's called the Bloody KeithSpice and comes in a dry mix with scoop (pretty convenient and an open tub doesnt go bad). If you have a decent tomato juice, vodka and some ice, you can make a really tasty bloody mary, but this stuff also makes a decent chicken rub for the grill too. I dig it, needless to say. www.keithspice.com

                                                          1. I like to start the day before (so to speak) with V-8 as a base - not so thick as tomato juice - and soak onion, garlic, a smidge of tabasco and a bucket of horseradish, adding the pickled/brined things the next day before serving (Texas Pete's Okra anyone?)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              the hot pickled okra from texas pete? yum! i like the spicy v-8 as a quick and dirty short-cut, with some lemon, worcestershire, horseradish blended in. even without booze, it is a good virgin mary.

                                                            2. It's funny, but when I ran across this topic I was actually drinking straight bloody mary mix.
                                                              This stuff is really delicious. It's not available nationwide yet, but they are working on it. I believe that you can find it at most Whole Foods and in a number of chains around the country-and if you live in the Northwest, I guess that you can get it pretty much anywhere(I am a long way from there, so I don't really know). I particularly like the spicy, but they're all good. I ended up with a whole assortment of their stuff that a friend gave me to try and it's all good to great, but that Bloody Mary Mix is the best I've ever had. Highly reccomended.


                                                              1. The bar in the Southwest terminal at LAX combines half bloody mary mix & half Clamato as it's base. I was alarmed when I saw this, but the bartender told me if I didn't like it he would make another without the Clamato. He was right. Good stuff.

                                                                My recipe:
                                                                Campbell's tomato juice
                                                                10 heavy shakes of Tabasco
                                                                dollop of Worcestershire
                                                                fresh ground pepper

                                                                Go Cubs!

                                                                1. I recently tried "Cape Cod Bloody Mary Co" mix and was quite impressed.

                                                                  Good flavor balance, nice horseradish kick.

                                                                  1. Do you have a Trader Joe's in your area? I love their basic bloody mary mix--rich, good texture, yummy, and a good price.

                                                                    1. I like using clamato juice.

                                                                      1. For all of you that love adding the liquid from jars of olives, rejoice! That's exactly what you get when you buy "dirty martini" mixer. You can get it in 750 ml. bottles at places like BevMo. Now if only I could get bottles of just pickle juice, all sorts of different flavors. I got lucky with an incredible find at a Grocery Outlet (discount grocery store, you can google it) and got a bunch of (instant, powder) Ball Pickle Seasoning mixes, which you just add vinegar and water (and sugar for the bread and butter type) to, but the flavors do take a long time to come out. Another option is to buy a gallon jar of pickles, pour off the liquid, and cover the pickles up again with vinegar, water, garlic and pickling spice (the kind with whole leaves and berries and peppercorns), and let the old pickles and new ingredients marry for a couple of months.

                                                                        There are so many ways of making Bloody Marys that there are Bloody Mary parties here... like salad bars. You get your booze and add everything else you want yourself. I like just drinking the mixers straight, over ice with some salt to make the ice melt faster, but there are so many delicious ways of altering the mixers that I could play around with that stuff all day long.

                                                                        Also, Clamato is awesome... I used to love that stuff so much, but it's been so long since I treated myself to it. I'm sure now it's been watered down considerably, and knowing American palates, there's more salt and/or sweetener than the last time I had it, and less clam and tomato.

                                                                        For everyone watching the carbs/calories, there's a low-carb, no-sugar-added, low-calorie Bloody Mary mix from "Finest Call". 3 net carbs/serving (4 total carbs minus 1 fiber carb = 3 net carbs), 15 calories/4 fl ounces. It's high in sodium, at 760mg/4 fl ounces. Contains 68% juice. The ingredients include molasses, worcestershire sauce, smoke flavor, celery salt, and celery seed oil, so it's really quite tasty to begin with.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. what ever happened to "Snap-E-Tom"?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: JRCann

                                                                            Snap-E-Tom is what I use for Bloody Mary's. It taste a bit thinner than it did a few years ago, but I still like it better than regular tomato juice. You can buy it at Dahls stores in Des Moines, but haven't seen it in any of the other stores.

                                                                          2. Oh, for the love of god please don't use any pre-mix! That's just disgusting. Decent tomato juice, some hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, and some lemon/lime juice is all you need for seasoning. And celery salt (or, if you're lucky enough to find them, celery bitters!) and maybe some kind of brine or horseradish.

                                                                            Also, I would urge bloody mary fans to pass over boring, flavorless vodka for other clear grain-based spirits that acutally add some character to the drink, like aquavit or gin.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: craigasaurus

                                                                              Bloody Maria! Pass the tequila :)

                                                                            2. If you can't make your own, Stirrings makes an amazing one. Very thick and rich, all natural, visible chunks of horseradish... all around great.

                                                                              1. Have to provide a second vote of confidence in Bloody Bold. They have a Web site, and if you e-mail them, they'll tell you where you can get it, if it's available in your area.

                                                                                Nice horseradish and seasoning, and it's delightfully thick. All you need in addition is Tito's vodka and a lemon to trim into wedges. Salut!

                                                                                1. We're finally trying Zing Zang this morning, after seeing it in the store. Pretty impressed, honestly. It tastes a lot like the mix I make from scratch (using equal parts tomato juice and V8, Worcestershire Sauce, Old Bay, celery salt, fresh lime juice, olive juice, a little cayenne and a ton of Tabasco and fresh black pepper). I would definitely buy this, again. Yum...

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: spycygrl

                                                                                    I'm a big fan of Zing Zang too, but if you really want to make a good Bloody Mary, the addition of some pot liquor from a big mess of collard greens will make you see God...

                                                                                      1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                        Pot liquor in a Bloody is AMAZING. Also a big fan of this local favorite: http://www.mcclurespickles.com/produc...

                                                                                    1. When and If I buy a mix as a base it is this one.......



                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                        Reading these posts really makes me want a Bloody Mary right now! Trader Joe's Garden Patch juice is a great base to start with. Kind of like V8, but with a texture from finely chopped veggies.

                                                                                      2. I'm sure it's not the best, but I like Mr. & Mrs. T's regular bloody mary mix. I have bloody marys rarely and often had to throw the mix out when it sat for too long. Mr. & Mrs. T now sells their mix in 12 oz cans, which are convenient when the mood strikes.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: jumpyg

                                                                                          I just tried the BM mix from McClure's and it was delicious. It's a little on the pickle-y side as I believe they use the brine from their pickles.

                                                                                        2. Since this seems go on and on... I feel I must say that I wouls not waste my money on a commercial BM mix. I use just V8 LOW SODIUM, a splash of Cholula hot sauce (milder and less acidity than Tabasco), a splash of Worcestershire , about a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh horseradish per glass, and a generous amount of fresh squeezed lime. Rim the glass with Old Bay Crab spice (or sprinkle it in) and stick a stalk of celery in as a swizzle stick. Takes less than a minute.... half the price! BTW the salt is in the Old Bay so use low sodium V8!!! If you are adventurous, a splash of Thai fish sauce is a super addition, or substitute for the Worcestershire.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: JRCann

                                                                                            I use V8 low sodium too and it works great since most of the things I add to it are so salty. My recipe is very similar to yours but I like Tabasco. I like a lot of horseradish and I also throw in a couple of stuffed green olives. I have a friend who always asks for a fork with his.

                                                                                            1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                              I like Spicy V8, you hardly have to add anything else to it. Although lots of worcestshire really makes it perfect.

                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                yes, coll -- it's the "quick and easy" shortcut -- plus horseradish. i like the celery seed, too.

                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                  me, too, here -- with a healthy squeeze of lemon.

                                                                                                  Discovered it by accident one Sunday morning when we wanted Bloody Marys but didn't feel like running out to the store. I had some Spicy V8 on hand (I keep it on hand for chili and vegetable soup when I'm short on time) and we doctored it with some Worcestershire and lemon juice. Damned fine Bloody Mary.

                                                                                            2. tried the zing zang mixer recommended here. it was good, and worth the price difference between it and mr. and mrs. t's.

                                                                                              1. Here is an updated ranking of popular Bloody Mary mixes:

                                                                                                Zing Zang comes out on top. I would rank Tabasco Mild as no. 2 and push Borsari down to 3.

                                                                                                1. 4 years later, lol. I'm not reading every reply because when I searched the page this didn't come up:

                                                                                                  If you're looking for a great base to add your preferred spice blend to, I HIGHLY recommend straight tomato juice (I like the taste of both canned and fresh pureed, granted they are quite different) to which a good dash of dry sherry has been added. It gives the juice depth without fussing with the sweeteners and other "flavor enhancers" that the manufactured versions have. I have also heard this called a Perfect Bloody Mary.

                                                                                                  1. ZIng Zang is the best mix I've ever had. By far. Without any muss or fuss, just mix with vodka and ice.

                                                                                                    Homemade is better.
                                                                                                    8 oz V-8
                                                                                                    1 oz Clamato
                                                                                                    1 tsp worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                    1/2 tsp fresh horseradish
                                                                                                    1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
                                                                                                    1/8 sea salt
                                                                                                    1/8 celery seed
                                                                                                    Dash or two Tabasco
                                                                                                    Jigger or two of quality vodka (my current favorite - Sobieski)
                                                                                                    Garnish - Stalk of celery, pickled asparagus, or skewer w/ cocktail shrimp, salami, black and/or green olives.
                                                                                                    And needless to say on this forum, adjust as desired.....

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Ken H

                                                                                                      My all time favorite was Clamato Bloody Ceasar. Used it in almost every thing that had tomato base flavor. Goulash, Spaghetti, Lasagna, Drinks! Awesome stuff! That's why they quit making it. So I found Clamato Picante in Moab Utah. Tried it. Loved it! Guess what? Can't get it anymore? Yep discontinuing product! Furious at Dr. Pepper/ Snapple(owners of Clamato). My understanding is that Canada still gets the product, so if anyone has a source of Clamato Ceasar or Picante, let me know.

                                                                                                      1. re: jeeper91

                                                                                                        Wouldn't a can of V8 and a bottle of clam juice get you to the same place without having to get furious?

                                                                                                        1. re: jeeper91

                                                                                                          Amazon.com has Clamato (Cesar and Picante). Not cheap with how much you have to buy and shipping costs though.

                                                                                                      2. I bought of bottle of this natural bloody mary mix that was a bit spicy at Cost Plus in Albuquerque like 12 years ago - I've been looking for something as good since then. This one had a monkey on it... that's all I know.

                                                                                                        1. A friend from out of town brought a bottle of Tilted Palm's BM mix a few weekends back and it was amazing. Sadly, not available in my area, so I have been searching for something else to try - looks like we have Zing Zang on the grocer's shelf, so I'll try that next weekend. If that doesn't work out, looks like Tilted Palm will ship.

                                                                                                          1. I think that all is lost unless you start with an excellent quality whole (read: not reconstituted) tomato juice. The reconstituted tomato juices taste funky and separate very rapidly. The best part is that the whole tomato juices - at least in California groceries - are often cheaper than the "name brand" products. When you find the major brand tomato juices, look down below them near the floor and you'll usually find the store brand or cannery brand juices that aren't reconstituted. Pay less, get more.

                                                                                                            1. i agree zing zang is the best, and evev better with peppered vodka !

                                                                                                              1. I used to swear by Mr. and Mrs. T's, but only their "Premium" style really cuts it with me anymore. Zing Zang was a bit too thick and just didn't do it for me. The best ones I have come across are below. Ocean Spray is by far the best I have had though (you still need a squeeze of lime, dash of celery salt and a touch of Worcestershire and Tabasco with any of these though.

                                                                                                                1. Ocean Spray Bloody Mary Mix - https://mybrands.com/Product.aspx?pid...
                                                                                                                (You have to but it online, as it is not sold retail that I am aware of).

                                                                                                                2. Mr. and Mrs. T's "Premium" Bloody Mary Mix

                                                                                                                3. Kelly e Gonzalez

                                                                                                                4. Major Peters Original

                                                                                                                5. Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix

                                                                                                                1. I just resurrected this old thread to post an article I came across today.


                                                                                                                  I haven't tried any of these - have any of you?

                                                                                                                  I've been a fan of Zing Zang for awhile, but that is based on limited taste testing.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                    The MXR Essentials mix sounds good until you look at the ingredient list. HFCS among others and I won't even go there.

                                                                                                                    I have become a Bloody Mary purist and will only use Tabasco mix if I don't make them from scratch.

                                                                                                                    Here is a link directly to the article referenced above if you have an aversion to going through huffpo like I do:

                                                                                                                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                      Zing Zang is the best bottled bloody mary mix and there's not even a close second.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jtboyd

                                                                                                                        I used to be a Major Peters fan, but I'm a Zing Zang man now!!

                                                                                                                    2. Major Peters Bloody Mary Mix is on the top of my list.

                                                                                                                      1. Been trying to find Sacramento tomato juice forever! Who sells it? Shipping on amazon is outrageous.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: swampnurse

                                                                                                                          Zing Zang and Whiskey Willie's XTreme (originated in my hometown) are the best. There is also a Whiskey Willy's original that's not so zinger-y.


                                                                                                                          Here's my concoction:
                                                                                                                          1 bottle Zing Zang
                                                                                                                          1 bottle Whiskey Willy's XTreme
                                                                                                                          A little water to cut the thickness
                                                                                                                          Many shakes of Worcestershire (to your taste
                                                                                                                          )Many shakes of Tobasco (to your taste)

                                                                                                                          Shake and store in frig, and of course add Vodka and all other garnishes when having a glass, or two.

                                                                                                                          1. re: swampnurse

                                                                                                                            You can go directly to the RedGold website and then do the shop online feature. Yes, the shipping is crazy. HOWEVER, this truly is the very, very best bloody mary mix EVER. If you're not going to make your own, use this. Add a little worchestershire and you're done.
                                                                                                                            The shipping is $28 and the cost is $18 but that is for a case of 12, 46 oz cans. When you do the math, it comes out to $3.89 a can, which you would pay at the store anyway. You can get quite a few drinks out of that can.

                                                                                                                          2. I'm a fan of Zing Zang. Good right of the bottle but still can enhance to your taste

                                                                                                                            1. Since I can't get Wegman's Spicy Vegetable juice anymore, I like to get Trader Joe's Garden Patch, their version of V-8 and depending on my mood, put in celery salt (a must...that's a default ingredient), maybe worcheshire or soy sauce, maybe some hot sauce, a little lemon juice, to taste.

                                                                                                                              If I'm feeling wild, I will do what other posters do and put in some pickle or olive juice.

                                                                                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                  I agree Demitri's stuff is good. I just ordered some from Amazon last week, can't find it around here. They also make a bacon flavored rimming salt that I ordered.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rexster314

                                                                                                                                    And serve with a Benny's Beef Straw. I had these at an event at Tales of the Cocktail in NOLA a year ago. Fun food.

                                                                                                                                2. When I do my own Instart with Campbell's tomato juice. It is quite hardy an a complete blank slate. Not watery at all. I find the more vodka te more watery my drink tastes.

                                                                                                                                  1. Very old post, huh?

                                                                                                                                    Anyway, the best bottled mix we have had is the Charleston Bold & Spicy Mix.


                                                                                                                                    1. no, there is no commercially available GREAT bloody mary mix.

                                                                                                                                      1. The local "Total Wine" guy suggested Dr. Swami and Bone Daddy Bloody Mary Mix. HUGE mistake! In my opinion Zing Zang is the perfect answer.

                                                                                                                                        1. I realize this is an old thread, but it's a perennial topic, so I'll throw in a candidate I just recently discovered: San Marzano bloody mary mix from Ripe BarJuice. Found it in the refrigerator case at my local Whole Foods. It's very thick & rich so it doesn't get watery even with lots of ice and vodka, and is made with all natural fresh ingredients, no powders. I upped the heat level with a dash of hot sauce, but the basic flavor blend is excellent.