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Apr 17, 2007 05:06 PM

What exactly am I missing when it comes to a Bloody Mary?

I pride myself on if not appreciating most things, at least understanding what makes them interesting. I don't know what makes a Bloody Mary interesting. I sort of get the romance of a Bloody Mary with Sunday Brunch, but in terms of interesting flavor what am I to look for?


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  1. Horseradish! A good Bloody has lots of it. Some folks even use wasabi. When you get a bland Bloody, it's usually a lack of horsey. Great for hangovers, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      Besides a nice amount of horseradish you also you need a decent amount of Worcestershire, celery seed or celery salt, fresh lemon juice, and Tabasco. All of these flavors need to be solidly present to bring it all together. There was a really good thread or two on Bloodies a few months ago.

      1. re: JMF

        You need to be hungover. Then it tastes really good.

        and salt - it needs salt - and tabasco, and horseradish. etc etc

        Try one w/ hot pepper vodka - that is a great start.

      1. My friends father, rest his soul, made the best. First you MUST start with good vodka. Perry always kept his Stoly's in the freezer. Then he poured his Stoly's over ice. Next came the Clamato, cracked pepper, a little celery salt, worcestershire sauce, tabasco, and the special ingredient Beau Monde seasoning. A quick stir and wella! yummy - the best!
        Sometimes, Perry would even squirt a little Stolys to top. Add a lemon slice too! The bomb! :)KQ

        5 Replies
        1. re: Kitchen Queen

          You, my dear, just described a Bloody Caesar, not a BM. It's a fav Canadian hangover drink. The Clamato makes the difference. Tomato juice is just too bland an ingredient no matter what you hit it with. I have a heck of a time ordering one in the US.

          1. re: Googs

            Bloddy Caesar? OK. Mary or Caesar is very yummy!!! So, Canadians use Beau Monde as well?? How about spicy Clamato? Used that too!!

            1. re: Kitchen Queen

              Bloody Mary = tomato juice
              Bloody Caesar = Clamato

            1. re: angelo04

              According to Cook's Thesaurus

              "This is a seasoning mix manufactured by Spices Islands that combines salt, onion, and celery flavors"

              A recipe to make your own

              Another source

          2. I think the key to a really good Bloody Mary is extra, extra lime. We go to this place in Rosarito every year and have tried duplicating the bartender's recipe and never quite got it until we realized it was the lime that we were missing. I agree with the others that the other ingredients are key but I think you need a few hearty squeezes of lime juice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: espinoza

              Got to have lime in mine as well. The Worcestershire is a must as well. I like mine spicy usually with Tobasco and black pepper. I've enjoyed them with horseradish. Kind of reminds me of cocktail sauce.

            2. I appreciate the comments thus far but I'm receiving mostly ingredient suggestions and I'm still not getting what I should be "getting". As an example I enjoy Martinis because of the juniper flavor and aroma (heightened by the vast surface area provided by the glass), its tactile denseness (when chilled properly) and its overall angularity and cleanness. So in these terms what am I to look for in a Bloody Mary?


              3 Replies
              1. re: Chinon00

                The beauty of a bloody. The tang of the spices as they hit your tongue. The richness of tomato that lingers after the first taste. That subtle kick as the vodka sneaks its way in.

                  1. re: Melanie

                    Should almost taste like a meal - which is why I have the worcetershire just right, but a twist I learned is to add Old Bay as well.