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Jun 11, 2014 12:33 PM

Homemade Bloody Mary

I'm interested in recipes for a great homemade Bloody Mary. I am not talking about using any mix -- there's another thread for that. I'm referring to using fresh tomatoes and other ingredients.

I'd also like feedback on spirit. I'm considering offering vodka, gin, and akvavit. Ransom Old Tom gin also sounds interesting.

I admit to not being a big Bloody Mary fan, but I've been tasked with bringing them.


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  1. I love ransom old tom, it is definitely one of my favorite gins, if not my absolute favorite but I'm not sure how it would be in a BM.

    1. Some of the best bloody mary's I have had have been closer to diluted cocktail sauce with either shrimp or crab chopped up in them.

      1. Best Bloody Mary I ever had was sort of the result of an accident. I was playing around with making peppercorn-infused vodkas, and made one with green peppercorns. (Doesn't take long, a few days is plenty of infusion time.) Tried it with vermouth, and it was undrinkable--harsh, biting, and generally unpleasant.

        Reluctant to toss the whole batch, i figured I'd try it in a Bloody Mary...and damn, that was great.Just the perfect complement to all the other flavors in the drink.

        We use a fairly classic recipe: Worcestershire, horseradish, Tabasco, lemon juice, and fresh-ground pepper. Sometimes we use V-8 instead of straight tomato juice.

        1. If you have a juicer, get hold of the fresh, summer, local tomatoes that will soon becoming into season. Hold at room temp. until they are perfectly ripe, juice them, and start from there. The juice will be a lot lighter, and brighter tasting than canned juice.

          If using canned juice you can also use v-8 or clamato.

          My favorite spirits are gin and akavit for Bloody Mary's. Also tequila and mezcal are good.

          Ingredients: celery salt, fresh ground pepper, horseradish, lemon juice, worchestershire sauce, hot sauce of choice.

          Additional ingredients: ground cumin or roasted cumin, ground rosemary, bay, thyme, oregano, Szechuan pepper, etc.

          1. I hope you aren't on task for Saturday morning as this will be too late. But if it's Sunday and you aren't happy with where you're at, an easy recipe follows my rant.

            So, I worked in a place where we made as many things as we possibly could from scratch and 90% of the time, I felt like that made us a better than average cocktail bar. We made our own tomato juice, spice mixture, pickled veg for garnish and even our own hot sauce almost--all in the name of bloodies. But I feel this is a drink more about purpose than pure execution. And with this drink, I felt like we did too much in the name of "scratch mixing."

            Now I love bloodies, I just didn't LOVE those completely scratch bloodies. Please do not mistake this for laziness or lack of commitment. I just think a Bloody Mary's purpose in life is to deliver a savory burst of salt, spice, acid and a reddish tomato informed base to assuage the "earlier" morning guilt one might feel from indiscretions the night before or those about to take place later in the day. Attaching a cheeseburger to the rim, slapping on oyster on top or grating fresh horseradish over it just seems like gilding the lily in every bad sense of that phrase (not that I think you were planning on doing that). Moreover, the better the brunch food, I believe the more the Mary should stay out of the way and just take the role of a fortifying savory morning drink much easier to make than the brutally labor intensive--though awesome--fizzes that almost suggest a 1-to-1 ratio of bartender to customer if anyone wants a drink in less than 10 minutes. Anyway.

            Here is what I batch out for weekend parties when I'm not trying to impress as much as provide. And maddeningly, every time I try to make it a little more "crafted", the consumption goes down. Recipe is for one drink but I can't remember I didn't tweak the proportions a little bit based on the morning or the people involved.

            -5 oz. Clamato
            -2 oz. spirit
            -.5 oz. A-1 sauce
            -.25 oz lime juice
            -4 dashes green Tabasco
            Served in a pint glass (this is meant for a 16 oz. container
            filled ice)
            Garnish with celery stalk, pimento stuffed green olive, lemon wedge
            In a perfect world, a quick shake works well but I'm not always in the mood for noise or exercise first thing in the morning.

            --This recipe is for vodka. Lighter gins and tequila's usually work great but for the uninitiated, the more forward flavors of something like mezcal or genever might be too much without prior experience. Haven't tried Old Tom but am wondering about the "sweeter" profile in a savory drink.
            --I like lime juice in the drink with lemon garnish. These can be switched up depending on personal taste.
            --More Tabasco can always be added to ratchet up the heat
            --I've made this with Heinz 57 in place of A-1 but I don't feel it gives quite the depth of flavor though it does provide similar viscosity which I consider important.