Bloody Marys

Greet the weekend with a batch of homemade Bloody Marys loaded up with every savory, crunchy, pickled thing you can get your hands on. The mix is super easy to whip up the night before; when it’s time for brunch, this deliciously cheerful cocktail is raring to go.

Two bloody marys with garnishes.

Most cocktails out there verge towards sweet and fruity (looking at you, Seabreeze!) Even though I love a Paloma or Sangria as much as the next person, every once in awhile, I long for something different.

And then it hits me: I need a Bloody Mary. Nothing else will do!

This recipe checks all the right boxes. A perfectly seasoned (and super easy) Bloody Mary mix, with ample amounts of horseradish, celery salt, and enough spice to keep things interesting. The recipe makes drinks for 12, in case you have people over.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled Bloody Mary ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Clamato or tomato juice: Personally, I love the little extra umami flavor of Clamato which is made with a hint of clam juice. If that’s not your thing, go straight-up tomato juice.
  • Vodka: The best vodka for Bloody Marys is the one you like. No need to buy the fanciest, most top-shelf vodka here; the bold tomato mix will overpower it. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a pepper-infused vodka for a little kick!
  • Celery salt: You make homemade celery salt (from leftover celery leaves) or use store-bought.
  • Hot sauce: Optional depending on your need for heat. I prefer Cholula.
  • Garnishes: Classic garnishes for a Bloody Mary are typically celery ribs, green olives, maybe an extra lemon or lime wedge. But I like to add heartier stuff, too: beef sticks (soaked in vodka if you have time), a skewer of cheese, pickled garlic, and dilly beans.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. To start, find a big pitcher and mix together the tomato juice (or Clamato), vodka, horseradish, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, and pepper. Pop the pitcher into the refrigerator to chill and let the flavors meld.
    A pitcher of bloody mary mix.
  2. When it’s time to serve, pour over glasses filled with ice and garnish to your heart’s content.
    Bloody Mary garnishes on a plate.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Make ahead: Mix everything together at least a couple hours before you plan on serving. Or better yet, make it the night before (even up to 24 hours ahead) and stow it in the fridge to let the ingredients mingle.
  • Keep the mix separate: In case some people want a lower-octane brunch cocktail, make the tomato mix but keep the vodka out. Let everyone add the amount of spirits they prefer later.
  • Virgin: You can drink the mix as-is, without the booze, and it’s delicious!
  • The works: If you can dream it, do it. Make your Bloody Mary a salad in a glass by reading the refrigerator. Garnish with chilled poached shrimp, beef jerky, lil’smokies, bacon and hard boiled eggs, pickled asparagus, radishes, pickle spears, pepperoncini, fried chicken, anything!
  • Bloody Maria: Switches out the vodka for tequila.
  • Red Snapper: Use gin instead of vodka, and that’s what you get.
  • Bloody Mary Bar: Set out a pitcher of mix, a bottle of vodka, and all your favorite garnishes.

A bloody mary bar with all the garnishes.

More brunch-worthy recipes:

Two bloody marys with garnishes.

Bloody Marys

Greet the weekend with a batch of homemade Bloody Marys loaded up with every savory, crunchy, pickled thing you can get your hands on. The mix is super easy to whip up the night before; when it's time for brunch, this deliciously cheerful cocktail is raring to go.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 cocktails
Calories: 105kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

For the Bloody Mary:

  • 48 ounces Clamato or tomato juice (6 cups, see note 1)
  • 2 cups vodka (see note 2)
  • 4 ounces fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
  • 1 ounce Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt (see note 3)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce plus more, to taste (see note 4)

For garnish (see note 5):

  • 12 stalks celery
  • 1 jar pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 36 dilly beans
  • 12 pickled garlic cloves
  • 12 beef sticks
  • Skewered cheese cubes

Instructions

  • In a large serving pitcher, whisk together Clamato, vodka, lemon juice, Worchestershire sauce, horseradish, celery salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate until flavors meld, about 2 hours.
  • Stir bloody marys to recombine and serve over ice in chilled collins glasses. Garnish with a stalk of celery and other items as desired.

Notes

  1. Clamato or tomato juice: Personally, I love the little extra umami flavor of Clamato which is made with a hint of clam juice. If that's not your thing, go straight-up tomato juice.
  2. Vodka: The best vodka for Bloody Marys is the one you like. No need to buy the fanciest, most top-shelf vodka here; the bold tomato mix will overpower it. However, that doesn't mean that you can't use a pepper-infused vodka for a little kick!
  3. Celery salt: You make homemade celery salt (from leftover celery leaves) or use store-bought.
  4. Hot sauce: Optional depending on your need for heat. I prefer Cholula.
  5. Garnishes: Classic garnishes for a Bloody Mary are typically celery ribs, green olives, maybe an extra lemon or lime wedge. But I like to add heartier stuff, too: beef sticks (soaked in vodka if you have time), a skewer of cheese, pickled garlic, and dilly beans.
  6. Make ahead: Mix everything together at least a couple hours before you plan on serving. Or better yet, make it the night before (even up to 24 hours ahead) and stow it in the fridge to let the ingredients mingle.
  7. Keep the mix separate: In case some people want a lower-octane brunch cocktail, make the tomato mix but keep the vodka out. Let everyone add the amount of spirits they prefer later.
  8. Virgin: You can drink the mix as-is, without the booze, and it's delicious!
  9. The works: If you can dream it, do it. Make your Bloody Mary a salad in a glass by reading the refrigerator. Garnish with chilled poached shrimp, beef jerky, lil'smokies, bacon and hard boiled eggs, pickled asparagus, radishes, pickle spears, pepperoncini, fried chicken, anything!
  10. Bloody Maria: Switches out the vodka for tequila.
  11. Red Snapper: Use gin instead of vodka, and that's what you get.
  12. Bloody Mary Bar: Set out a pitcher of mix, a bottle of vodka, and all your favorite garnishes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Dave

    This is a great recipe. Just for grins, try using low sodium V8 juice. For my tastebuds, it has a heftier flavor and better consistency than other mixers. Plus the more you drink, the more veggies you consume. A win-win.5 stars

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