The Bloody Mary has seen a real renaissance in the past few years. A staple of the classic brunch, the Bloody Mary gained popularity as more and more people have decided that a Saturday or Sunday morning is best spent with eggs, bacon and vodka. Not only do I agree that this is the best possible way to spend any and all weekend mornings, I insist that more often than not, you make it your duty to do brunch at home instead of a restaurant. And what does that mean, my friends? For one thing, there’s no tipping required. And yes, you’ll have to mix up your own Bloody Marys.
If you thought your neighborhood brunch spot was the only place that could provide you with this sustenance, you are only slightly mistaken. Most restaurants may have a signature recipe, but you can have one too! The beauty of the Bloody Mary is that everyone likes it a different way—spicier, heavy on the horseradish or the worcestershire, etc. No matter what, there IS a way to achieve Bloody Mary greatness in your own home. When your friends start to suggest that you host brunch every weekend, rather than joining the brunching throngs in a restaurant, you’ll know the mission has been accomplished.
As stated before, everybody has different tastes when it comes to Bloody Marys, as with any cocktail. It’s at this point that we’re faced with a Bloody Mary conundrum; spicy or not spicy? More meaty, or more tomato-y? If you’re going for spicy, go heavy on three of the major elements: horseradish, black pepper and hot sauce. If you like your Bloody to taste like a T-bone steak, load it up with the worcestershire sauce, giving your drink a swift and savory kick. Insider tip: for an added kick of savory umami, throw in a tablespoon or two of soy sauce.
Use a solid tomato juice, something not from concentrate, like V8.
-Freshly cracked black pepper from whole black peppercorns; resist the urge to buy the less expensive table stuff.
-Quality hot sauce, like Tabasco, Cholula, or Frank’s Red Hot are favorites.
-Fresh horseradish, and I mean fresh. If it comes in a bottle that says “Horseradish Sauce,” that is not what you want. It should be shredded and when you inhale, it should slightly burn your nostrils.
Because the vodka is what makes this drink really shine, you’ll want to go with a good one. Just like the rules for cooking with wine, you should never use a spirit in a cocktail that you wouldn’t drink on its own.
Give the mixture a minimum of four to six hours or up to overnight to let those flavors develop.
The garnish on your Blood Mary is a more important element than you may think. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s what turns this drink from a cocktail to a meal in and of itself. Garnish is one area where you can really get creative, which is what makes it so fun. Whether you want to keep it traditional with a crisp celery stalk, or get a little crazy with some pickled vegetables, your garnish is what gives your Bloody Mary that final personal touch. I recommend going with some pickled vegetables like olives, pickles or string beans, since the acidity will play really nicely with the spices. Insider Tip: To really impress brunch guests with your garnish prowess, throw in a Benny’s Bloody Mary Beef Straw. Not only is it a tasty and meaty snack.
The Ultimate Bloody Mary
Makes about 8 servings
1 48 oz bottle of Tomato Juice (we recommend V8)
1 ½ lemons, juiced
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (we recommend Lea & Perrins)
1 ½ Tbsp hot sauce (we recommend Tabasco, Cholula or Frank’s)
2 Tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1- 1 ½ heaping Tbsp freshly grated horseradish
1 Tbsp celery salt
1 bottle of vodka (we recommend Ketel One)
Combine all the ingredients (except the vodka) in a large pitcher. Stir to combine. Seal tightly and let sit at room temperature for a minimum of four hours, or up to overnight.
Fill a tall glass with fresh ice cubes, and fill ¾ of the way with your prepared Bloody Mary mix. Fill the rest of the glass with vodka and stir to combine. Garnish with celery stalk, carrot stick, or the garnish of your choice.
3 ounces Gin
6 ounces tomato juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 dashes Tabasco
3 dashes worcestershire sauce
2 pinches celery salt
2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
Rim a glass with the black pepper and celery salt
Shake all other ingredients over ice and strain into ice-filled glass.
How to make Bloody Ninja
Very similar to the traditional Bloody Mary, except for the base spirit, which is Sake.
45 ml Sake
90 ml Tomato Juice
15 ml Lemon Juice
1 dash Tabasco Sauce
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1 dash Salt
1 dash Pepper
Add dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper into highball glass, then pour all ingredients into highball with ice cubes. Stir gently. Garnish with celery stalk.
Bloody Mary with Pickled Prawns
This recipe calls for a few additions to our Bloody Mary mix, but the real pièce de résistance is the pickled prawn perched on the rim of the glass.
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish
1/2 teaspoon pickling liquid from our Pickled Prawns
2 to 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces tomato juice
2 ounces vodka
Finely ground black pepper
2 Pickled Prawns, for garnish
1 celery stick, for garnish
Combine limejuice, jalapeño, horseradish, prawn pickling liquid, and Worcestershire sauce in a cocktail shaker and muddle until the jalapeño is pulverized. Add ice to fill halfway, then add tomato juice and vodka and season with salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until combined, about 20 seconds.
Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with pickled prawns and celery.